October 28, 2021
It’s a bit challenging and even daunting to manage a house 4,500 miles and eight time zones away. Just can’t pop over to organize projects. So I’m extremely grateful that another rhythm in the harmony of Irish culture is that of relationships.
When we first purchased the cottage and the paperwork was all completed at the solicitors, the deal wasn’t done until we stood at the front door with the sellers, agreed again to the price, and slapped hands. The traditional way a deal was done. Face to face. It wasn’t about the paperwork, it was about the relationship. And that rhythm of relationship has saved my sanity.
The web of relationships started with the neighbors and expanded to the community of tradesmen when I was in Ireland a year ago September. I suppose I had made enough trips to the builder supply in Gort for paint, ladders, and tools to warrant a relationship with Marie. When I mentioned I was frustrated with the window and door vendors I had found on the internet she gave me the name of a local man who proved to be exactly what I was looking for. Great product. Good price. His estimate was what I paid down to the penny. And through building a relationship with David, I was totally confident that the windows and doors would be installed perfectly when I wasn’t there. And that is exactly what happened.
Then I mentioned to Marie that I was looking for a tradesman for a long list of cottage projects, many that would be done when I was back in the US. She again gave me a name and Tom has proven to be a life saver. And through Tom I found a plumber and a man to give last rites to the washing machine. Through a neighbor I found a woman to clean the cottage and tend the garden.
Of course they all know each other in this small community and there is something of an implicit accountability in working with a local web of service and trades people. Relationship. Trust the web and the web will deliver, mind the web and the web will mind you, is what I’ve learned. And so it does.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org