Monday, January 11, 2016

I'm Done!!

I've always been a DIY guy. For those in the listening audience who don't recognize the initials, it means "do it yourself"....and that's what I've always been. My dad taught me from an early age the value of taking care of things so they wouldn't wear out or break and the value of repairing things myself when they did wear out or break. It's been a pretty good exercise and one I'm proud of but I think I may be at the end of my DIY days.

I had to be with my dad when he was working on something, whether it be the car, the refrigerator, or even the toaster. He taught me how to go about the process and I slowly began to actually be a help rather than a hindrance. I fondly remember him instructing, "Hand me the 5/8ths box end.". I had no idea what he was talking about but rather than ask for clarification I handed him a pair of pliers. In his loving way he explained, "Does that look like a 5/8th box end? What part of this pair of pliers looks like a box end wrench?". After that day I knew a box end and lovingly passed this knowledge on to my sons later in life. I never captured his talent of looking at a nut or bolt and immediately knowing what size box end was required. My own instructions to my boys went like this: "Hand me a 5/8ths box end. Oh, this isn't right. Just bring me all of the box ends."

After Deb and I were married I continued to ask my dad for help with repairs and he seemed to enjoy being needed. After a while though he took me aside and told me it was time to flex my wings and do my own repairs without his guidance. He said it something like, "Ok boy, this is the last time....from now on fix it yourself and let me enjoy my retirement!".  A year or two later Deb complained about the washer not working properly. I had planned to work on my car anyway and since the washer was located in the garage I told her I would take a look at it before starting on the car. As I disassembled the washer looking for something needing repair, I spread the parts out on the garage floor. After a near complete disassembly I was frustrated and decided to stop and fix the little problem I had noticed on our car. I raised the lid and checked the carburetor linkage (impressed aren't you?!). It was fine so I set the air cleaner aside and worked my way through the other suspected parts. As I worked I laid out the car parts on the garage floor. After an hour or two I still hadn't located the problem so I stopped for lunch. During lunch Deb informed me she HAD to get some wash done so please let her know as soon as the washer was ready. In my own mind I knew it was Saturday and the only way for us to get to church on Sunday was in our only car which was laying in pieces on the garage floor. I ate a quick lunch then got back out to reassemble the washer. Hmmm, I don't recall this piece...where does it go?? Could it be a part for the car instead?....hmmm...I had a mess on my hands. I couldn't remember how to put the washer back together so I did the only thing a father and husband can do in an emergency...I called my dad. After reminding me of our earlier conversation he agreed to come over and help me with the washer. I failed to mention the car situation. When he arrived I opened the garage door and was amazed at his sympathy for me...."WHAT IN THE WORLD HAVE YOU DONE???".  He got to work though and by seven that night he had the washer and car both up and running. I love that man and sure do miss him. There are days I miss him more than others. For example...

Our dishwasher went out a few months ago. We found a nice replacement at Home Depot. While checking out, the clerk asked if we wanted to pay $65 for installation. My response was, "Absolutely not. I've installed dishwashers before and it only takes a few minutes.". It took me seven hours and I'm still worried about leaks. While shopping for the dishwasher Deb found a kitchen sink she liked and a couple of weeks later we went back to Home Depot to purchase it. Again, "No, we don't want to pay for an installation.".  Because the new sink was laid out differently from our current sink our disposal wouldn't fit. I rationalized that we were spoiled and didn't really need a disposal. After another trip to Home Depot for supplies, I reworked the plumbing and finished the install. It took four hours. Just last week Deb told me she had to have the disposal back so we made  another trip to Home Depot for another sink. When asked if we wanted to pay for installation I replied, with some hesitancy, that I thought I could handle it myself. It took nine hours....yes, that's right. I said NINE STINKING HOURS. Nothing matched up. I made three more trips to Home Depot before the nightmare was over. On my last trip I stopped the clerk and told him, "Look at this face. If you EVER hear me say I don't want to pay for installation again, slap me right up the side of my head.".

I'm done.....

No comments:

Post a Comment