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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Remove the Rot

image: csharpprogrammer.com
Once upon a time, about 20 years ago, some friends of ours bought a log house. It was a beautiful home that looked out over a valley. In the distance, you could see three mountains. It was truly breathtaking.

They had the home inspected, as one does before one purchases a home, and everything passed. After they'd moved in, they decided to have it inspected again (this is how I remember it; though, I'm not sure if I'm right). Anyway, I recall that there was a second inspection after they'd closed on the house and had moved in. The results were shocking!

In one of the main walls of the great room, there was dry rot in a number of the logs. The deal was done, the house was theirs. Although there was a court case, they lost, and the repairs were theirs to make.

image: ehow.com
It was hard to believe. Even to the trained eye of an inspector, who had inspected many, many homes, it had gone unseen. The previous owner had sand blasted those logs just to the point that the rot was undetectable. Needless to say, he'd done well in the cover up.

Our friends hired a man to come up to the hill that December. He agreed to brace the remaining, non-rotted walls so that they would stand while the rotting walls could be removed and replaced. He would get just the perfect logs and hand chink them so that they'd fit into the empty space.

This process took weeks, and again, just in case you missed it, it was the dead of winter up on top of a mountain. This could not be avoided, though it was an enormous inconvenience.

image: camryndarkstone.wordpress.com
As I recalled this experience, I found that it has a much deeper meaning. Sometimes we build relationships with people. Some of these are very meaningful and life-changing. We, in a sense, buy a house. These "purchases" bring us joy, and we feel that we're better when we're near these people. We have a new outlook on life opened to our view. We're at the top of a mountain.

As we start a friendship, we build a foundation. As time goes on, it's that foundation that we continue to build on.

image: inspirational-friendship-poems.com
Sometimes, with the twists and turns of relationships, we have to stop and assess. We, in effect, have to inspect this home and make some decisions--is it fit to stay, or is it better to count our purchase as a loss and move on.

image: restorelogs.com
At times, in relationships, we find dry rot. Sometimes, on first inspection, we don't see it. It's been sand blasted just to the point of covering the truth. It's imperceptible. Upon closer inspection, eventually, that rot reveals itself. We have to decide if, in the middle of winter, we're going to take the time and effort to figure out how to remove the rot and replace that wall. Do we have the skills? Are we willing to give it the time needed? Is this relationship worth the inconvenience and discomfort of bracing up the other walls to replace them with something better, sturdier; something that will endure and bring years of security and comfort?

From the other side of the wall, are we willing to brace ourselves and remove our own rot, so we don't have to hide our sand blasting, hoping that others won't find what we're hiding and that we tried to hide it in the first place?

As I pondered on this, I realized that there isn't one of us who is without dry rot, and there isn't one of us who doesn't, from time to time, try to sandblast and cover up our imperfections and mistakes. That being the case, how much dry rot are you willing to endure in others and in yourself? How much are you willing to stand in the cold, while things are braced, and allow the new logs to be chinked and put in place?

image: pacificnorthwestrealty.com
I have to admit, sometimes, I'm not very patient in these kinds of cases. This is sad as I have so much dry rot myself, but those I've waited through and supported have become my strongest relationships. After allowing the repair, I've been invited to sit and enjoy the view.


LeAnn said...

I enjoyed your analogy today. It is true non of us are perfect. We all do have dry rot that needs our attention before it takes over. This is one to ponder upon at least I will be thinking more about it.

lia london, author and writing coach said...

I love these kinds of analogies. We never want to admit which parts of us are in decay, yet when we work on them--and even get help from others to do so--everything is so much better.

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