The back story is:
I had been "on again/off again" with - The Wild One- for the majority of the last 3 years. We have broken up 15 times. I would love to say that is an exaggeration. But, it's not. So...it is what it is. Months ago was the break up that felt like the most final of all the break ups.
I have been struggling with a Squirrel problem for what feels like years. EVERY damn winter the squirrels move into my attic.
Oz has helped me keep it under control with setting traps each winter.
But, the pesky bastards have gotten more brazen. They dug a bigger hole into the roof of my back porch. They invited their friends to join them.
I found handling the situation professionally was expensive and beyond my single mom budget. So my nephew helped me and patched up the hole with some boards. Temporarily fixed!
This winter when the squirrels moved in, a friend suggested a guy he knows that could patch the hole in the roof.
So, Carpenter Guy shows up and says he will get back to me with an estimate. And...nothing. Didn't hear from him. In the meantime it snows. A lot. Finally, he texts and says he will stop by. He doesn't.
It snows more. Lots more.
The squirrels get louder, a lot louder.
This past week I was doing laundry in my basement and heard the squirrels scurrying loudly through the walls. I FREAKED OUT!!!
Oz said he would get some more traps. But, stated that obviously the hole needs repairing. I needed someone that could legit help repair it.
I was desperate and panicking. The exterminators were hundreds of dollars. Carpenters charge hundreds and then some. Two weeks after Christmas- the most expensive holiday in the life of any parent - is NOT the time for this type of issue.
Also, no one was immediately available to run over to rescue my family from the Squirrel Invasion.
I knew it was time to ask for help so... I called The Wild One.
Thankfully he called back.
As soon as I heard his voice, I knew it would be ok.
He assured me he would take a look at it and repair it enough to keep squirrels out until I can get someone to fix it permanently in the warmer weather.
I was worried to tell the kids about The Wild One arriving, I was worried to tell Oz who was also on his way over. But, they all agreed...It was the right call because The Wild One can fix anything.
When The Wild One arrived, I felt like my entire body exhaled.
All of the fear I had about the squirrels coming into the house, the worry over what mold might be growing in the hole they made on my back porch, the snow piled on the roof and water damage, the stress over how to fix it, how much it would cost, all of it...just lifted.
I hadn't realized how much stress I felt until I let it go.
And so knee deep in snow, The Wild One dug out the ladder from under a snowpile in my yard and got on the roof to assess the situation.
Then he began cutting into the ceiling on the porch and out came large squirrel nests. So much gross insulation, feathers, sticks and shit poured out onto him.
He turned and looked at me, and said... I hope you will remember this the next time you decide to trash talk me.
And there it was..
Having to face reality. Nothing happens in a bubble.
I have said things. Things that were true. Things I was angry and hurt about. Things that I would say to his face. Some of those things I chose to tell someone that knows him.
The old saying - don't burn your bridges- is true. You never know when you break up with someone when your paths might cross again. Or when you might need them to hunt squirrels for you.
As he continued patching up the squirrels' destruction with sheets of metal, he mentioned having read my blog post.
Which one do you mean?? (because depending on the answer the conversation can go from discussion to shit-show in about a minute!)
He says...The Wooing one.
Oh! Ok good. Not confrontational at all. Right?!
Well... it definitely opened up an interesting discussion..and gave me a new perspective.
The point of that post was that Wooing comes in different forms. He says he thinks that post needs an Amendment added because he felt like I glossed over Wooing that didn't involve flowers or jewelry and only briefly mentioned any other kind of Wooing.
Actions and service are forms of Wooing that are very powerful and valuable, but he didn't feel like I understood that type of Wooing. When I asked him why he thinks Actions are a great way to Woo, he said he feels that acts of service are long lasting and unique to the needs of the individual. He said that the things he does to help with projects are longer lasting that flowers. And that he chooses to do those things to make me happy and make life easier.
I really do value those efforts! I used to joke that doing House Projects was the #2 Reason I loved him. (Reason #1 isn't really printable)
But, it wasn't a joke. Those projects made me feel safe and cared for.
He didn't just clean out the garage, but also built a bike rack that helps keep it clean and organized on regular basis.
There were times he cleaned my kids' bedrooms and built a bed for my daughter. It was an amazing difference!
He taught me how to organize my kitchen cabinets and bedroom drawers and closets. And keep my bill piles straight, something I really struggled with.
And one of the times he Wooed me (and my neighbor) was when he chainsawed trees down in the backyard for me.
Over the years, he has fixed cars for me, my mom, and my nephew. He vented my dryer to the outside to make the house safer.
He taught my boys how to put new tires and brakes on their bikes.
When I was first diagnosed with MS he drove me to doctor appointments and helped me navigate IVs and injections.
So I guess when it comes to writing about Exes, it is not something that is always summed up in short sentence, or a funny paragraph.
I am very fortunate that I also have Oz. He helps with so many things for me and for the kids!
Recently, it was VERY entertaining to see OZ and The Wild One team up to hunt squirrels together.
The Wild One tried handle the squirrel issue with sling shots, pellet guns and tools. Oz tried to handle it with traps and peanut butter because he has had success with it in the past.
But, it is about more than which method will eventually rid the attic of squirrels.
It is about these two people that my life has intertwined with. Two people that are so important to me in very different ways. They are exact opposites in everything, including the ways they Woo.
But, when it comes down to it, they are there for me in immeasurable ways. And I appreciate it SO much, even when it seems like I don't!
I hope this story ends up with less squirrels soon!! To be continued...