I am a twenty-seven year old stay-at-home mom. I also help my husband flip houses. What does that mean? We buy large older houses near a university, divide them into apartments, and then sell them for profit. How did we get into this business?
Well, my father was a subcontractor so I grew-up around blueprints, building code permits, lumber yards, demolition, and the building process. My mother was a designer of clothes, furnishings, cakes, flower arranging, and the creative process. So you see I inherited my talents from both sides of the gene pool. My husband inherited his dad’s ability to fix anything. When we decided we wanted to have children and both stay home with them, starting a remodeling business was the ideal solution.
There’s another reason we enjoy flipping houses. After each sale, part of the profit goes toward the next project, my husband gets money to invest in the stock market, and I get money to me to buy furniture for our new home. At the end of the day, it works for us, except that is for yesterday.
While the boys napped, I was to paint a living room ceiling in an eighty year old house. As I began tackling the ceiling I discovered there were several layers of decade-old wallpaper underneath the textured finish. Chunks of paper and wet paint fell down all over the place, including on me. Plus, as my husband says, I’m the worse ‘holder-upper’ in the world. My skinny arms are void of muscle and strength, so working with them above my head was excruciating.
When the boys woke-up I went to the basement where my husband was installing a new hot water heater. “Let’s call it quits for the day. I’m aching all over and need to soak in the tub.”
“I need a break too,” he grunted.
Filthy, and barely able to raise my arms, I buckled the boys into our rusty pick-up truck. “Let’s go home on Route 1,” I suggested. It was a six-lane highway heavily populated with fast-food joints. “I don’t have any intention of cooking dinner, so it is either fast-food or fast till morning.”
“I’m already a step ahead of you. I figured those arms would be useless for the rest of the night,” my husband chuckled.
He was driving about 45-miles an hour when I shouted, “Stop, go back! Hon, you’ve got to turn around and go back to that shopping center.”
“Why? I didn’t see any place to eat there.”
“Not for food. I saw a piano in a showroom window that would be perfect for the living room.”
“Are you kidding me woman? You spotted a piano in this traffic at these speeds? You’re crazy.”
“I know, but I’ve got to see that piano, please?”
As he looked in his rearview mirror, he shook his head. “Guess I’m just as crazy for turning around.”
When we pulled up to the store, there were several salespeople standing near the entrance. They watched as we crawled out of the truck, each grabbing one of the boys. I reached the door first.
“Can I help you?” The salesman’s words didn’t match his tone or his scowl.
“Yes, I’d like to see that piano in the window, the one with the Queen Anne’s legs and claw feet.”
“That’s our top of the line,” he blurted out as he scanned me top to bottom.
“Wonderful,” I said, flashing him a big smile as I pushed my way past. I heard the other salespeople snickering.
After playing a few chords and reading the attached brochure and warrantee, I waved to the salesman who had remained with the others.
“Yes,” he answered, coming toward me.
“I’ll take it. When can it be delivered?” I asked, reaching for my purse.
“Do you want a credit application?”
“No thank you, I’m paying cash, and I’d like to see the manager please.”
Because of the salesman’s condescending attitude and lack of service, what would have been his commission was deducted from the price.
The old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. Because of the way I looked, that salesman assumed I couldn’t afford that piano without knowing anything about me. The Bible warns us not to judge by what we see, but sadly most people do anyway.
Looking at my piano, I see the fruits of my labor. I can’t wait to sit and enjoy it, that is, as soon as my arms stop hurting.
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