I don’t like to speak ill of my husband, but if the man has a fault, it’s the fact that he’s an engineering perfectionist. It took him three weeks to lay the bathroom tile in our basement. Though I would challenge any person to find a more perfectly level and perfectly spaced flooring, part of me was dying for him to just get it done. But sometimes, even when you go slow, the meticulous planning can go awry.
We spent the last weekend creating a framework for cement stairs that will be part of a larger pour for a driveway on the side of our house. The moment he went to his CAD program and starting drawing out plans with exact measurements for the width and depth of the treads needed to fit the space, I squelched a sigh and put my “be patient” hat on. What I was asking of him wasn’t just a simple set of stairs, but ones that would have to be molded out of the cement pad for several feet as it dropped to the other previously poured cement pad below, so I knew this careful approach of his was necessary.
After several hours, we finally get to the point were we are building the structure out of the wood supplies we bought. All is going well, his meticulously measured angles of the side boards line up perfectly. We assemble the treads and place it in the space where the steps will be. Stepping back, he realizes there is a problem in the design. I can see his teeth gritting so I remind him.
“Lemonade, honey. We can figure this out.”
During the process of trying to fix the issue, a weak point in the supporting framework snaps.
“It’s okay, lemonade” I say.
Then the other supporting framework snaps in the same place.
If you’ve ever dealt with an introvert, you’ll find they have a very high threshold before their temper kicks in, but once it goes…oh brother, those pieces of wood were going to die.
“Honey, calm down, we can still make this work. Lemonade, lemonade, lemonade.”
As my husband storms into the house growling to find some other tool, our youngest son asks me. “Why do you keep saying lemonade?”
I smile. “It’s an old expression. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Though the project didn’t go as his perfectly laid plans promise, he was eventually able to make lemonade out of the many lemons. It just took a little ingenuity on his part, and he’s got that in spades. The stairs will be lovely.