Sunday, March 8, 2009

Barn Raising~ This One Is For You, Mike!

Some of Jim's Tools
~Getting a work out during our renovations

I have a friend named Mike who is pretty faithful in reading my blog. He mentioned to me today that he noticed I hadn't been blogging for a few days (thanks for noticing, Mike!) He also said in passing that sometimes my blog seems a little too girly for him, although he said it in a very tactful way. I had to admit to him that it is true and that I am 100% female (check out the questionnaire at the bottom of my blog.) I actually love being 100% female, but I do want to broaden my interest base a little for him so this one if for you, Mike!

Not long ago I ran into a wonderful blogger that has a blog entitled He is fairly new to blogging but already has a big following. He has some amazing ideas like this one...

Hold A Barn Raising!
I've always looked with a curious eye at two major industries: insurance, and mortgages. What would we do without them? If a house burns and there is no insurance, does that mean that the family will be homeless from then on? What if somebody wants to build a house, or even just a room addition, and there is no mortgage available; what do they do? Will they have to go without?

To me, the answer has always been obvious: of course not! People need shelter, end of story. We won't just live in a tent forever if we can't get a loan or if the insurance won't fix the house after a hurricane. But that sure is how the whole problem is presented in the media. "Oh no, Americans won't be able to get a loan to buy a house." So what! Build one anyway and be happy that it's paid for from day one!

The thought makes me want to take myself behind the woodshed for ever getting a mortgage, or two, or three... Why did I do that? I'm a builder for crying out loud! It's all about patience. This whole financial mess is about all of us, as a whole, wanting more than we can afford. Not more than we will ever be able to afford, just more than we can afford right now. And there are plenty of people who have companies who are willing to help us with that and take a nice profit in return.

What's the Alternative?

In the 18th and 19th century the ways were much different. Communities worked together to build structures for each other. Only one or two people on a project were paid at all! And this wasn't exactly a volunteer assignment either. If you didn't show up, people noticed. The work force included every able-bodied member of the community and the job got done! The cost to the proud new owner: materials, a few bucks for the skilled person in charge, and the price of the land. No mortgage, no payment.

I guess it seems crazy, but why couldn't five families that all need more space form a little team of hard working DIY families? I bet you that of the five families you know that really want to build an addition, one, at the most, has the money for materials right now. So start with that one. Maybe by the time that one is done,the next family will be ready to go. Why not? Why not have one person take on the job of learning how to do electrical work, another do plumbing, one for carpentry, and so-on? Seems like it would work to me. Maybe one of the moms decides she can handle the permitting mess and another can call around and get the best prices on materials.

Maybe our progress now can be to come up with a 21stcentury way to use an old tradition and kick all those bankers to the curb.

This is part of a monthly newsletter that you can subscribe to if you are interested. I really like the barn raising idea and think we could use it in so many ways to make this a better world.

When I see my husband struggling alone to do major jobs, or just with my help, I feel badly for him. You should have seen the two of us struggling to get our assembed, L shaped, 6 X 6 foot counter into our laundry room yesterday. It was a comedy show! The poor guys needed someone with manly upper body strength to help him.

I wish his friends and he had a group going to help each other with the heavy "man work" as my friend calls it. I think women should do the same and I have participated in this sort of thing with friends before.

Sometimes we forget that our best resources are people in tough times, as well as good. By working together and working smarter we would all be better off and we would have a lot more fun too! As Remodeling Guys says, big mortgages are not the only answer to our economic problems!

(To my LDS readers, it sounds like a great use of the Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching networks to me.)

Sorry Mike, but don't you think these red poppies look nice
with the Craftsman Tool Chest?
Just had to sneak in a little girly~its my nature!


MCGROVER said...

Thanks for your post. Sorry to say I didn't look at your blog until today (Tues March 10th)

Just so you know I love flowers, beautiful classical music and I even cry once in a while. Women need some male traits and men need some female traits. After all husband and wife are to be "one-flesh" so we have to understand each other.

Bonnie said...

I totally agree with you, Mike! I wish I had a little bit of the male thing going for myself but practice makes perfect and I am getting the 'guy things' better than I use to. Although nothing can make me like a car parts store, nothing! Jim has been a good teacher!

And just so you now I think men that can cry are very well-balanced and much more appealing than the ones that can't, don't or won't!

Thanks for the comment too!