I know I haven’t written in some time. Many of you came here after I was featured on Freshly Pressed, and for that I thank you. To make a long story short, things have been busy. For the longer story, keep reading.
Back when I was Freshly Pressed (has it really been 3 weeks already?!) I was in the middle of helping with our church’s annual Vacation Bible School. Myself, my wife, her parents, and her sister have been in charge the last four years or so. We are responsible for lining up teachers, writing the lessons, and decorating. Decorating takes forever; we do it ourselves to save money. Anyway, VBS was a success this year. We reached close to 80 low income trailer park kids each night. We were able to provide them with a few hours away from broken homes and neighborhood bullies and show them the love of Christ. We were able to give them something to eat; I know several aren’t eating like growing children should since school is out for the summer. The offering was the best the church has ever had. Our VBS students are divided into teams for the week, and the teams compete in the daily offering. This year our total VBS offering was $1,314.15. Did I mention this was given in pennies?
After VBS was over I began working around my house. My parents are coming to visit, and I’d like things to be a bit better than they are. About a year ago I had some termite damage in the kitchen. The damage was fixed, but the tile needed replacing. When we tore up the old tile we found three new areas of infestation. I ended up replacing at least 50% of my kitchen subfloor and three main joists. I put in new tile. I even replaced the soft spots in my bathroom.
Then I called the exterminator. He came out yesterday afternoon, looked at it, and then we began to discuss price. My wife and I both teach at a private school in NC (a state that doesn’t allow teachers to unionize), so you can guess how much I don’t get paid. I’d already sunk most of my savings into repairing the house so I didn’t fall through the floor. Anyway, after talking for about 15 minutes, he quoted me a price and left.
Then today came. I went out early and fixed some fallen insulation so that the exterminator could spray. They came out within the hour, but the paperwork I was given had a price that was double what I had been given yesterday. I called the owner, who happened to be the man I talked with yesterday, to get it straightened out. He said the price I was given was what I would need to pay up front. Understanding my situation, he agreed to work out a payment plan for me on the remaining amount. I still paid much less than I would have had I gone with Orkin, Termanix, or other national brands, and I did receive superior service, but I learned the hard way to get stuff in writing so I know exactly what I’m getting into. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel outright cheated, just slightly mislead. They did tell me the price up front and waited a good half hour while I decided if I wanted them to go ahead. In the long run, I know the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” will hold true, so I told them to go ahead. At all times I was treated with respect and without any pressure. I just wish I had heard the price correctly in the first place.
With one crisis averted, I decided to go into town to put our paychecks in the bank. I had to run by our school to drop of some books that were cluttering my house, and I blew a tire in the parking lot. I have had tire problems on this vehicle before, and know that tires can be expensive for the size I need. Thankfully, my local garage had one in stock, so I drove over for them to put it on. While the car was on the lift, I had them check the other tires. Two of them had cords showing and could pop at any time. So, I left $112 poorer but much safer than before.
I guess today’s motto is “It could always be worse”. I could have discovered more termite damage than I knew about. I could have paid the price of Orkin or Termanix; instead, I was able to support a local business (and yes, I would use them again and recommend them to a friend). I could have blown a tire – or two, or three – going 55 mph on the highway. Instead, they blew in a parking lot and at the garage.
But I never did make it to the bank…
Tomorrow? Tomorrow is another day…