Grim's Tales: I extend a big thank you for all the help

A reminder that humans are social beings


From a scientific and a religious standpoint, human beings are not designed to thrive alone.

I say this as a Grimler, a family known for its stubbornness and probably pride. I'm sure we're not alone in that we don't feel comfortable asking for help or even sometimes accepting help offered that was unasked for.

But you don't need me to tell you, at some point in all of our lives that kind of help has kept us out of hot water.

I've been struggling for years to save money to replace the shingles on my roof. It seems that they were semi-experimental. The company that made them was sued because they didn't last as long as they should have, and for years they have been falling apart.

On top of that, when the wind came through Backus and ripped the roof off a neighboring building and the front sign off another, it folded most of my shingles in half. Insurance, the way it is, cited the aforementioned lawsuit as the reason the company wouldn't pony up some of the money it had received for just such an occasion.


I was lucky that the shingles unfolded enough not to leak with the next sunny day.

Even as clogged gutters from deteriorating shingles occasionally risked flooding my basement, emergency medical expenses, auto and other expenses sapped away the funds whenever I got close to the capital needed to finish the project. I would have installed a roof several years ago if not for an expensive surgery for my spaniel.

All that came to an end two weeks ago, because I finally had enough money (plus a small loan) to be able to put new shingles up. Without a lot of help that I can only hope to be able to repay some day, even that would not have been enough.

A friend helped deliver the shingles and others lent us tools. It took a crew that fluctuated between two and five people about 24 hours to remove the old shingles and install the new ones. The Saturday we all spent on the roof in 80-degree weather was brutal, but you should have seen us move!

I'm finally back in business and I couldn't be more grateful. The roof even looks great!

The whole experience is a big reminder of how much we as a species benefit from social living. It's also a lesson in swallowing one's pride and asking for help, which I stupidly resisted almost every step of the way.

Physically we aren't pound for pound the strongest creature on earth. We don't have sharp claws or teeth and we are poorly equipped with fur to survive without shelter in the wild. Yet we thrive in a way that others that outnumber us and outmatch us with strengths cannot.

I'm one to believe that this is largely due to backing of a creator, but even Christianity tells us that we can't thrive alone and are not meant to struggle alone. The same is true from a scientific perspective. We are a social species.


Remember that the next time you are having a hard time. Pride isn't a virtue; in my faith it is exactly the opposite actually. We just aren't designed to be able to do everything all by ourselves, as much as we value independence and self sufficiency.

As for me, a huge thank you goes out to those who helped me finally get this stressful project done, including but not limited to: Barry Borman, Tom Grimler (Dad), Brent Grimler, Orlyn Steffen, Shawn Rugroden and Chris Goehring.

I can only hope I can be as helpful to them some day.

Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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