How do I go against the way I was raised?

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Cozmo35 posted 12-17-2011 01:47 AM 8872 reads 0 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was brought up in the deep south where above anything else, you were to respect your elders and put them on a pedestal. That has been instilled in me from my very first breath. As many of you know, I have cut many wooden crosses on my scroll saw. I have a very frail, very old lady who is my neighbor. She saw one of my crosses and because she liked it so much, I gave her one. Well, that is where it started. She asked if I would make her son one. So, I did. She then asked if I’d make her daughter one. So, I did. She gave me some banana bread (which I do not like). I took it to work and let my co-workers have it. She then came back and said that the son of one of her friends had committed suicide and asked that I make one for the parents. So, I did. Each time I did receive a thank you note from the recipient. She then asked that I make “just 3 more” for an unknown reason. So, I did. She now has me working on another “3 more”.

It goes against every grain of my being to tell this little old (almost 90 years old) lady “No”. I can’t help but think that she has a very limited time left on this earth. I keep hearing my Mom and Grandmother saying “respect your elders” I also compare her to my Grandmother in her later years. WHAT DO I DO?

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

39 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4335 days

#1 posted 12-17-2011 01:54 AM

Oh, Boy, Cozmo.

That is NOT an easy one.

My best—unhelpful—thought would be …. you’re going to get to that point (maybe you’re already there) where you can’t continue to do such wonderful kind things for this one person without it cutting into the time you need to do other things in your life, and projects for other people.

I can tell that … this isn’t a person taking advantage, but … perhaps … one who doesn’t understand, entirely, that these ARE projects that DO take time, and that they DO leave you less time to do other things.

Raised the way you were … if you get to that place where you DO decide to say “no more,” I’m confident that you’ll do it in a kind, respectful, and sincere manner.

I’ve always said … careful about letting people know you’re GOOD at something, or they’ll keep coming back for more :-)

-- -- Neil

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 4045 days

#2 posted 12-17-2011 02:06 AM

I think that i am older that you, based on your young picture, but was also raised in the South, South Dallas that is. I, also, was raised in a different generation that todays. Now in my scrollsaw work I have had special pricing for some and gave to others. It is a tough call. I try to use the “busy time frame” as a reason. Perhaps that only puts it off for a few weeks. Also, I have a sift heart by nature. YOu would not know it if you were to meet me, but I do.

How to handle this, with respect, diginty and most of all love for the other. Perhaps a chat with her or something like that. Most of all keep her as your friend for her final few years.

Just my thoughts.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View Mike's profile


66 posts in 3543 days

#3 posted 12-17-2011 02:07 AM

Well I must agree with NBeener, its my experince that you do not want to anger any woman from the southern states (many know how to shoot very well) If those crosses are taking time from other things you need or want to do, than just tell her your getting to busy to do them right now and you will do some for her when you get the chance but tell her nicely (remember shoot very well)

-- But hon I need this tool.......

View rance's profile


4278 posts in 4321 days

#4 posted 12-17-2011 02:08 AM

I would tell her I don’t have time, because I don’t. You could tell her she could purchase some you’ve got for sale. No disrespect from that. If she doesn’t buy any, then she is OBVIOUSLY taking advantage of you. Folks should have respect for others’ talents too. Does she? If so, then she should pay a little for it. You’ve gone WAY above and beyond respect.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3854 days

#5 posted 12-17-2011 02:11 AM

^Neil said everything I can think to say. I was raised the same way; it’s harder to say no than to say yes. Tell your you don’t have enough time because you’re busy feeding the homeless. Pick a cause that the elderly respect;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3785 days

#6 posted 12-17-2011 02:12 AM

Your efforts are also seen by the ONE the crosses represent. If I had a scroll saw I would gladly help you. Keep em coming until she stops asking. Your reward may not come while on this earth, but I am thinking it will, besides the scroll saw will keep you off the liquor. Good lookin out my man….good lookin out.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3854 days

#7 posted 12-17-2011 02:13 AM

the scroll saw will keep you off the liquor
Helluva argument; and likely true, to boot! ;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 4197 days

#8 posted 12-17-2011 02:17 AM

Rance, I thought about offering her some for sale, but I know she is on a small fixed income. I have used the “I don’t have time” method, but she is patient and keep dropping subtle hints until I finally break down and make them for her just to get it out of the way. I have caught myself not wanting to even go out to the garage for fear of her showing up. Her house backs up to mine.

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4081 days

#9 posted 12-17-2011 02:18 AM

Well, Cozmo – I think you are going to have a lot of company (and sympathy) on this one. It certainly is a tough situation. At this moment, I am in the process of painting four larger figures for a dear friend of mine that got kind of dropped in my lap. I have had them for a couple of weeks, and need to get them done by Christmas and I already have worked on them for probably three to four days now and I am only on the second piece. I don’t know how to say ‘no’ either – especially when it is someone who is older and who I have respect for.

I can say to you “you have to tell her you can’t do it” but I know in my own situation, I have the same problem that you have with refusing more orders. I am really interested in seeing what others have to say on this.

You are a kind and thoughtful (and talented) man. But you shouldn’t allow someone to take advantage of your kindness. Maybe if you honestly tell her that you just have to work on paying jobs she will understand (or offer to pay you) Maybe.

I hope you get some good ideas here. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View rance's profile


4278 posts in 4321 days

#10 posted 12-17-2011 02:48 AM

Well, if you can’t beat em, then join em. Just limit them to one a month. :) Compromises are what makes the world go round, or is it oblong? And hey, if she chooses to buy one, you aren’t twisting her arm, it is her choice.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Don W's profile

Don W

20121 posts in 3728 days

#11 posted 12-17-2011 03:05 AM

Just take a little longer and a little longer each time you make one. I suppose I like the idea of when she ask, hand her the web site where she can buy one.

At least I now know 2 reasons why I don’t have a scroll saw. I wasn’t raised in the south, so I’m probably not that nice, and I happen to like my liquor.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Bigdogs117's profile


1864 posts in 4782 days

#12 posted 12-17-2011 03:20 AM

While I think I fully understand you situation, I was thinking what jumbojack has mentioned. I would gladly help and chalk it up to a way to serve the Lord. Those crosses are probably great conversation pieces and who knows, may help bring someone to know Christ.

Just my $0.02.

-- Rusty

View lew's profile


13383 posts in 4916 days

#13 posted 12-17-2011 03:38 AM

Free favors.

I don’t know which it is worse to be- an scroll sawyer or a computer technician.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 4464 days

#14 posted 12-17-2011 04:49 AM

You are a very lucky man. Treat the next request as an honor granted. You are giving a personal gift into which you put some effort, expense and love. I learned in Rotary (PHF) it becomes easy to say yes when the work is the reward. Never pass up an opportunity to serve. Rotarians in my club were always ready to give—time, talent or treasure. Never once was I turned down if I asked for help. Nor did I turn people down—-sometimes it was difficult for the time, other obligations or it was just something I just couldn’t do now. Ask for a secondary schedule. If it becomes burdensome ask for help—service, supplies or labor. Many times the requestor has people or time to help. Take advantage of it. As far as being taken advantage of: so what. The honor of serving can’t be taken away from you. For me, the positives far outweigh the gains. Think of all the teachable moments?
Thus endeth the sermon for the day, the recessional hymn will be “Lead On O Kinky Turtle” all 11 verses. Good luck, spj

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3851 days

#15 posted 12-17-2011 05:13 AM

Cosmo, You are a good guy and you’re doing the right thing as I’m sure you already know. I couldn’t say no to this lady either. The only suggestion I have is to simplify them and figure out how to speed up production. Your kindness will be repaid. You keep making crosses for this old lady and I’ll keep making boxes for families who have lost children. Its the way we were raised.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

showing 1 through 15 of 39 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics