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  1. #1
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    Default Stubborn Old Man

    Recently, I purchased a Massey 135 tractor to restore, with the ultimate goal of using it to maintain our gravel driveway. The driveway is about 1000 feet long, has a somewhat steep grade, and winds it's way up to our house with one curve that's almost a 90 degree turn. Currently, my tractor is torn down being restored, but when the time comes to begin working on the driveway, I anticipate potential problems with my father-in-law who lives just below us on the same road.

    The driveway has suffered repeated problems for years because my father-in-law has this strange notion that a bowl-shaped road is correct. I know for a fact that this is not correct and that the road should be graded with a proper crown so water can flow into the ditches, rather than going down the road and creating washouts. He has two tractors and constantly comblains about water running down the road when it rains, yet does nothing to address the actual problem, despite having been told by many people, including myself, what is wrong and what needs to be done to correct the problem.

    My concern is that when my tractor is finished, and I begin working on the road to correct the problems, that he will go right behind me and screw it all up again, or worse yet, a family feud of sorts could erupt. My wife says it will become the "battle of the tractors", something I'd like to avoid. But still, I intend to fix this road and be done with these constant problems, most of which have been caused by poor maintenance.

    My father-in-law is one of the most stubborn old men I've ever known, but I'm equally stubborn, if not more so. Does anyone know how I can fix the road, while keeping the peace? Currently, my plan is to just fix the road and let the chips fall where they may, but if there is a better way to handle this, I'd love to know what it is.
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  2. #2
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stubborn Old Man

    Who owes the driveway? If the driveway belongs to you then fix it anyway you want....end of story. If joint ownership then divide driveway. You do your part your way and he can do his part his way.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota L275DT; Ford 8N

    Default Re: Stubborn Old Man

    Quote Originally Posted by rekees4300 View Post
    Who owes the driveway? If the driveway belongs to you then fix it anyway you want....end of story. If joint ownership then divide driveway. You do your part your way and he can do his part his way.
    Easy to say... unfortunately when there's family involved things get complicated. You need to decide how much aggravation you can deal with, and explain diplomatially that it's your driveway. thetrouble with older people is that they continue getting older ... at some point we realise that the most important things aren't always being right..
    . even when we are.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stubborn Old Man

    Help tune up the tractors.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  5. #5
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stubborn Old Man

    "the road should be graded with a proper crown so water can flow into the ditches,"

    I have a 900' gravel driveway so I agree a proper crown will help solve the water problem. Beyond that, you & wife will need to resolve FIL problem.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stubborn Old Man

    The driveway is jointly owned by both of us, and when family is involved, things can indeed get really complicated in a hurry.

    Keeping the peace has always been priority number one, but the road can get pretty bad at times. Something has to be done and leaving it as-is cannot continue because buying gravel to replace that which is washed away is simply getting too expensive. I realize that buying gravel to fix a gravel road is simply part of the territory, but the washouts causing excessive gravel loss could be greatly reduced or eliminated if the road is fixed properly. It's not about being right, it's about fixing the road, nothing more.

    For the last few months, I've been "working on him", trying to introduce what I plan to do to the road gradually, allowing him time to get used to the idea, and so it won't be such a shock. While I can't be certain if it's working, I am certain that he is unpredictable and have great concerns as a direct result.

    Heck, I've even offered to help him work on his beloved Massey 35 tractor, which smokes like a Malley engine because it has worn valve guides, but he has never taken me up on my offer. What I'm trying to do is use the Massey tractors as a means of connecting with him, rather than a means of "doing battle" with him. Perhaps seeing my Massey 135 restored will change his tune, or it could make him worse. Time will tell.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stubborn Old Man

    The funny thing about stubborn men is they always have a daughter more stubborn then them. (mine is 3!) Have your wife work on him.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stubborn Old Man

    Quote Originally Posted by forgeblast View Post
    The funny thing about stubborn men is they always have a daughter more stubborn then them. (mine is 3!) Have your wife work on him.
    I know exactly what you mean because my wife is one of the few people on this planet that I'll back down to. When she has her mind made up there's no stopping her, short of knocking her on her tail which probably wouldn't work anyway, but I don't hit women so I back down and let her do her thing.
    .

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Stubborn Old Man

    Figure out what is really important in life, and try to make decisions that won,t have regrets.
    How much longer do you figure your FIL will be around, why not let him be in charge of taking care of the driveway, as long as it is passable, and safe, does it really matter ? I wish my stubborn FIL was still around, and I wished I would of been much kinder and more tolerant of his ways when he was around. I still kick myself in the butt for being so stubborn, just as you are being. What else does your FIL have to look forward to, when he gets up each morning ?
    And as a doctor once told me when I was trying to help an older person who loved to argue, your wasting your time arguing with them, cause in their mind, they think they are right, as much as you think you are right. As long as it,s not harmful to anyone, why not let them think that for their own well being and self worth ?

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
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    94 Craftsman GT6000

    Default Re: Stubborn Old Man

    My FIL was the same way but fortunately I didn't live near him; unfortunately his daughter is like him in a lot of ways but that's another story. You could try bending a piece of cardboard in trough shape and pouring water on it and turn it over the other way and let him see the difference (if that makes sense). May be when he sees how it runs through it one way and off the other way?

    Good luck.

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