When we moved into the North End, one of the first things we planned to do was build a garage.
Somehow, the money part of things didn’t work out the way we’d planned. We had enough to put up a fence but not the kind that allows for enclosing the parking area. In some ways I was glad, as I wanted to meet my back alley neighbours easily.
So, with our vehicles open to the back alley, we (and my visiting parents) experienced our share of North End vandalism. We figure that MPI and SGI could have paid for a garage package when we moved in and still saved some money.
Last November, we sold our photography studio on Selkirk Avenue (now Dr. Dang’s Clinic). That solved the money problem. It took a long time for zoning and permits to go through, but 10 months later, we are finally building.
We initially intended to add a second-floor studio to the garage but we’re building an oversize garage, instead. In the end, we’re happy, because that money thing was becoming an issue again.
Through it all, we’ve recognized the power of teamwork.
First, it was the concrete company we hired, a father and three sons who’ve been in the business together for over a decade. There was rarely a moment when any one guy was standing still. Each knew his part and carried it out efficiently.
Next, we observed a lack of teamwork. As our contractor works alone, the building process immediately slowed down. When my husband could join him after work, the pace picked up.
One Saturday, two friends helped, and there was major progress.
We really noticed the power of teamwork when raising of the walls. We were fortunate to be able to call on a neighbour for help. It took some innovation, some co-operation, and some perspiration but, working together, they lifted those heavy, 12-foot walls.
We can try to do everything ourselves in this individualistic society we live in — or we can reach out and ask for help.
It’s not easy to ask, is it?
We wrestle with whether we truly need help. We swallow our pride and admit we can’t do it all. We invest time and effort just calling or emailing someone. We juggle schedules. We risk hearing, "No, I can’t" or not hearing anything back at all. It’s hard.
But the rewards are great. There’s the satisfaction of getting a job done and getting our needs met.
And there’s the joy of working together: the shared banter, and the feeling of community.
Are you putting off a project because you can’t do it alone? Ask for help!
Teamwork is a wonderful thing.