Friday, January 8, 2016

What's in that cup?

This morning I looked at my coffee cup, my mind was flooded with memories.  Funny how one thing can key so many thoughts. Awhile back I was grieving for my Dodge City cup. I was advised to keep it, so I did.

It now hangs to the left of the range along with Mt. Rushmore. But the cup that brought back the memories I found in our 'STUFF' last summer. Cups I had made for my customers.
These are the ones used now, we both use the 'Darnell's Construction Co' cups.
At one time we collected cups at every stop, until we had boxes of them. We still carry about 15 cups, we never have that many coffee drinkers.
Each of you could write a book about the incidences on your jobs. The same with construction. Just yesterday Sherry and I were talking about the first small house I built. I bought a small very cheap lot, not telling Sherry. Grandson Corey and I were over cleaning the lot that had a small shack on it, he found a small gold colored bell.  I told him this house was our secret, he could not tell anyone.  That night Sherry asked him where he got the bell, he said, "It's a secret, I cannot tell anyone." And he didn't tell her, no matter how much she cajoled him. Corey was an amazing little kid.
Of course Sherry learned of the little house and was very happy. I knew I would easily get my money back so I went to a friend and borrowed $20K on a hand shake.  I kept my hours on the house and an accurate cost of materials.  When the house was finished, to figure the asking price I paid myself $10 an hour, plus gas and expenses. I sold the house for $32,000, to a sweet widow lady. I had completely built the house by myself. I now had over $10k as a nest egg.

After the closing, the lady asked me what was wrong with the house. I was shocked at the question. She explained it was so cheap, there must be something wrong. I smiled real big and said lady, I made $10 an hour on this house, it is solid as a rock.

As a builder, I preferred speculative building. Build the house I liked and sell it. There was an agreement after I decided to make it a life's work. WE owed $20k on a house worth $50K. Sherry hated that debt and make extra payments from her job to try to pay it off.  She asked one day on our walks, "Can you build us a house and get us out of debt? I jumped on that and said, "SURE!"
  Sherry agreed with one stipulation, "Honey don't ever go in debt more than we can pay."   "No problem," says I.
I am smiling now at how naive I was. Unless you are rich, NO ONE can build a house without some debt!  But I did not tell her of my 'education' until later and we were on solid footing.

Nite Shipslog
1925 Ford Torpedo

1929 Studebaker


Paula said...

Sherry is such a level headed lady. I think she was and is good for you.

Lisa said...

I think we all have a favorite cup. My husband uses only the Vintage fire king cups inherited from his Parents. I prefer a cup that I can fit all four fingers in the handle. Not much of a cup collector.

May your cup runneth over

Mevely317 said...

That lady's question, "What's wrong with it?" had me nodding. Funny, how we get an idea in our heads the way something is supposed to be ... and if it's priced less, we grow suspicious that it's of inferior quality. Glad you set her straight, with a smile. :)

betty said...

That seems to be the rave now of "flipping" houses; but those that flip charge more than your $10 an hour to do so; sometimes they seem to price themselves out of the market we have found in our house looking efforts.

I always liked the coffee cups we got from churches when we visited; those seemed to last longer than any other ones we got :)


Rick Watson said...

That's a skill I wish I had learned. I can do a lot of things but building is not one of them.
Good piece Jack

Jackie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie said...

Love your stories...
Love them!
Paul, Daddy, and I are working to restore an old home that Daddy and Mama just bought several years ago; it has memories because it is the first home that Daddy and Mama lived in when they moved from Jacksonville, Florida, to where they live today. I was 2 1/2 years old when we lived in that house. They rented this house in the early 50's for $30 a month. They eventually purchased land and built a home of their own several miles from this particular house.
It came up for sale several years ago, and Daddy bought it. It is a sloooow go, but we are enjoying doing all of the restoration ourselves.
Reading your blog made me think of the hard work we are going through doing the restoration, but what a learning experience and what fun we are having together!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You have some great memories associated with those cups you have. Here at my house I have a few with pictures of family on them. I got a mug with one of my grandsons on it for Christmas too. I won't use those cups but keep them safe sitting on a shelf. I have plenty of others to use. Some with memories, some not, but most make me smile. Hope you all are smiling there today and enjoying some sunshine...rain is coming our way.