Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tool Time...


I love hardware stores, home improvement stores, tile and carpet stores, gravel yards, lumber yards and furniture stores. HGTV is one of my default TV stations. I've been watching 'This Old House" since the days of Bob Vila. The smell of fresh cut lumber is like perfume to me. Watching a craftsman fit a mitred corner of crown molding or install custom made bookshelves is like an artist painting a masterpiece. Hand tools, the pounding of nails into wood, the sound of a trowl spreading adhesive that will adhere glass tiles to a back splash is like music to my ears...
As much as I admire these things my ability to use them, develop a talent or skill with them is limited to oogling the aisles of Lowe's and Home Depot and annoying any contractor, plumber, electrician or installer that I've had to hire to do what I aspire to and am completely and totally inept at.


We have plumbing issues...Our 'new' master toilet has been running on-and-off since before Christmas. I'm not great with plumbing problems, so I asked Norm to look at it, he jiggled the handle and said "It's still running" and walked away. So we went out to Lowe's and bought a new 'flapper', installed that and it still ran. So, we went back again and bought a whole new 'flush valve'. It stayed in the bag for several days, hoping Norm would take the initiative and attempt to install it, but alas, I took the plunge (No pun intended) and tried to install it myself. Thank heavens it was a Sunday because I needed help! Who you gonna call? - my brother! I had the cell phone on speaker as I was on the bathroom floor trying to loosen the anchor screws. I had visions of emailing photos to Brion to show him what I was seeing. He's my handy man in abstentia.


My wonderful, intelligent, handsome husband is the 'anti-Norm', Norm Abrams that is. He's closer to a bad Tim Taylor. He is so NOT - Mr. Home Depot. Norm's dad was wonderful around the house. He built a great storage area in Norm's childhood garage, cedar closets in the basement and handled almost all home repairs with dexterity and skill. Which of these skills did my Norm inherit - NONE! My dad was the same way. He had a great little shop in the basement with a standing saw, a workbench and a homemade ceiling lazy susan made out baby food jars that held all sorts of nails, fasteners, nuts and bolts. He even let me help when he bought bar stools for the basement from Yield House and we had to assemble them and stain them. When we first married I thought my Norm would continue in the tradition of both our dads, WRONG! I became the keeper of the tools, the holder of the hammer the driver of the screws.


My dad never left any job undone or put off doing fix-it jobs around the house. When my parents came to visit he'd start looking for jobs to do. I began to make lists before they visited first to get jobs done and then just to keep him busy. In the trunk of the car was not only my mom's cookies, but my dad's tool bucket! Now, I need my brother to visit more often...I need a handyman to help me around the house so now I make a list for him!

Oh, and that toilet - it's still running...

4 comments:

Karen said...

I have to divide my home repair/improvement list into sections:
- Things that Justen (stepson)can do. (These would be the projects that can wait until he's available). He's who I would call if my toilet was running.
- Things that my neighbor Dennis could do (he moved to Corona, so that's harder now).
- Things that my neighbor Tyler can do (emergency stuff like a broken sprinkler head shooting a geyser into the air).
- Things that my neighbor Tom can do (very simple, but critical tasks like removing a dead rat from my walkway).
Me, I can use a drill and I can tile like crazy.

Anonymous said...

Your brother is here, at your service. All you need to do is just feed me. If you can figure how to do that long distance, I will figure out how to make your toilet stop running.

P.S. Great recall of the Bar Stool story. Don't know how you remember stuff like that, but I am sure glad you do. Brought a smile and a tear to me, all at the same time. Love you and give me a call.

Anonymous said...

Dear Donna,

I too have fond memories of your father liking to do household fix-it tasks. My dad was so uptight about trying to do such things that my mom used to do most of it too. She actually got pretty good at it,but not me! Good luck with it...

Barb in NH

Chiara said...

yeah. My DH tries and is able to do a lot of it but big jobs we call in the pros my dad and brother.