Being married to a redneck is a challenge. I have to have a very good sense of humor and the ability to think outside the box. Rednecks come up with solutions
The second year in this house, Vic decided to build a basement under the house. This normally involves some company coming out, jacking up your house, digging underneath it, pouring your basement and then securing your house to it. It's a long-ish process and can be pretty expensive. This would have been even more complicated for us because half our house is built on a slab. But we don't need no stinking house-jacks. Vic dragged a jack-hammer into my laundry room, one part of our house with a slab floor, and jack-hammered a 4 x 6 hole in the floor. He told me it was possible to dig our basement from the inside out, and began hauling wheelbarrow loads of dirt from under my house right out the front door. The neighbors probably thought we were insane people preparing to bury a body or something. After about a week, he began construction on a belt system that would carry the dirt directly from the hole out the back of the house, powered with an old lawn mower engine. Thankfully, the mower engine wasn't working well and Vic decided it was a lot of work hauling bucketloads of dirt out of a 6 foot deep hole. We ended up filling in the hole with dirt again and covering it with leftover bags of mortar. (If the neighbors wondered about hauling dirt out, I wonder what they thought about hauling it in.) I never will know if that would have worked or if my house would have fallen down on my head (thank goodness).
We found a power tiller on the side of the road a few summers ago that needed a little work but was otherwise in good condition. Ever the tinkerer, Vic picked it up and soon was tilling my garden for me. When the tiller broke in the next week, he started making plans to convert the go-cart currently in progress into a tiller. The blades, he explained to me, could easily be fashioned to fit on the underbody of the go-cart. "Then you could just drive around and till the yard!" he told me. Luckily the go-cart was nowhere near running order yet, so I was spared the horror of a drive-able tiller. I think he's forgotten about that one. I hope.
I could to on forever. The time he cut a hole in the back of the house for a large window air conditioner, then ran duct to it so we could have "central air conditioning." How he built a woodburning heater for his tool shed. The hundreds of things fixed with duct tape and the thousands of suggestions I've had to flat-out refuse (you really, really don't want to know).
Beyond the ridiculous, though, lies an intelligent man with remarkable ingenuity. He built me a solid and sturdy bookshelf out of some old wooden doors he picked up on a job. When we took out the chimney, he constructed an entire entertainment center in the old fireplace (in a 950 sq ft house, the space that saves is phenomenal). If something breaks, I need only ask, "Can you make something to fit this?" and he'll wander around his shed full of parts and either find something, or make it for me. And we never would have made it home from North Carolina in the summer of '96 if he hadn't plugged a hole in the radiator with a bolt from the side of the road. His unbelievable redneck ability to adapt has shown our kids how to find a way to make it work, which is a pretty great thing.
I've learned to stop asking, "What will the neighbors think?" I've learned that if I'm patient enough to sit through the process, the outcome is usually worth it. I've learned to only object when the invention in his head is completely out of the question, and then to do so as firmly as possible. ("Hell no! Are you crazy?!") This, young grasshoppers, can be the path to insanity or the path to clarity. I'm hoping I come through on the end of clarity, but we still have several years ahead of us.