Contractors Life


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the cornerstones of our country

Tradesmen and women have built the cornerstones of our magnificent country.  They’re out there day in, day out doing back-breaking work, sometimes dirty, always physical, skilled work.

The jobs we rely on are being done by these very talented individuals.  They build us houses, buildings, fences and roads; giving us hydro, gas and water.  We absolutely can’t live without these superhumans that we call Tradespeople.

On the Home Front

the cornerstones of our country

Have you ever stopped to consider the life of the tradesperson’s spouse?  Dealing with the mud and grime of every day… just saying.

Having chatted with a few spouses, one of the common threads of comedy is – the laundry.  They’ve all become master detectives when it comes to sorting out the laundry ready for the wash; checking every pocket before anything ever goes into the machine.  No one wants a handful of roofing nails or screws going through their Bosch.  Taking their role very seriously the collections of pencils, Exacto knives and hardware usually reside in long used containers in the laundry room.

Sometimes, the good spouse will return everything to their contractor partner – other times the collection grows into a museum worth exhibit.  That is until a lost bit of something becomes important and the hunt is on.

This pre-laundering process can be rewarding though.  Many a bit of change can be collected amongst the ‘stuff’ – sometimes just crumpled bits of paper.  Really, it’s considered to be a Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers situation.

Never throwing the paper bits out, they soon amass enough to become a book.  Importance is relevant though – scribbled measurements or tattered receipts are often more valuable than the coins they mix with.

Humorous but True

the cornerstones of our country

The funniest (not so much) thing about being a contractors spouse is – you think everything about your own house will be kept in great repair.  Not!  What’s that old adage?  ‘The shoemaker’s shoes always have holes’…

Who hasn’t heard, ‘I’m a contractor and I’ll do the work on my own house in my own time, and I’m not paying someone else to do it when I work for free.’

the cornerstones of our country

Contractors are up before dawn and off to work in many cases before the sun ever rises.  They’re hard workers, these guys, and like to start early.  Certainly, there’s no lingering over breakfast in those homes.  Sometimes, however, an early start can mean an earlier end of the day, so it all works out in the end.

Think of the different trades coming home – the plumber with that distinct grease trap odour, the painter with rainbow coated hair or the roofer with the grit of asphalt – well – everywhere.

There are days when their spouse just dreams of a heated garage with a shower stall and washing machine with extra scrubbing ability dedicated to that mess.  Who wants that in their deluxe family washing machine?  Sometimes, just sometimes a bill rather than the odd coin will make up for it though.

The Cornerstones of our Country

the cornerstones of our country

So, if tradespeople are the cornerstone of our Canadian way of life, we can look at trades husbands and wives as kind of the grout that holds the foundation together.  No one’s house can be built or Eavestrough installed if they’re missing Exacto knives, pencils or tape measures.  Hats off to the legends behind the scenes.

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Written By: Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Veronika Kovecses

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