Once, when I was a little guy (yes, I really was little once upon a time!), I borrowed my dad’s hammer and scrounged up some nails, and tried to build a clubhouse out of a few pieces of scrap lumber. I’m not sure I got even one nail driven all the way in without bending it over sideways, and then I managed to smack my thumb with the hammer, and ran into the house crying. That sort of set the stage for my life.
Fast forward a few years, and I was a sixteen year old kid working in a service station, back when you really did get service when you pulled in for a tank of gas. I saved up some money and bought my first car, a rust bucket 1961 Chevy Bel Air. I loved that old junker, as only a boy can love his first car, and I’ll always remember the the adventures I had in it. The car never ran well, and somebody told me it needed new spark plugs and plug wires. So I bought the parts I needed, yanked all of the spark plug wires off, and installed the new spark plugs. That’s when I discovered two things; spark plugs need to be gapped, and spark plug wires have a firing order, and have to be installed in the proper sequence. Apparently, saying “This one looks like it’ll stretch over there” doesn’t do the trick
I stared at the engine and scratched my head and my butt for two or three days before I finally gave up and told my dad I had broken my car. I still remember him grumbling as he properly set the gap in the spark plug electrodes and sorted out the firing order for the wires. Once he got the car running again, he said “Listen, I’m going to give you some advice that will probably make your life easier, and will damn sure make my life easier. If you think you have to try drinking and chasing women, go ahead and get it out of your system. But stay away from drugs and tools. The first two might kill you, but I’m sure the second two will, sooner or later. You’re not smart enough to fix things, but you’ve got a good personality, and you’re smart enough to either make enough money or friends to find somebody else to fix whatever you break.”
Well, the old man never steered me wrong, and I’ve followed his advice most of my life, and paid the price the few times I haven’t. I’ve spent years cultivating friendships with people who do know how to fix things, and then teaching them that we’re all better off if they fix what I break, instead of waiting for me to try fixing it first, and then having to undo that and repair whatever was wrong in the first place. I keep guys like Rocky Frees, Ron Speidel, and Greg White strategically located across the country, so I’m never more than two days’ drive away from help if I need it. And trust me, I need it on a regular basis! :)
But I know I can’t depend on the charity of others to take care of me forever, so I went one step further, and married Mrs. Fix-It. Not only is my wife absolutely beautiful, one of the nicest and smartest people I’ve ever known, and a fantastic cook, she can also fix darned near anything. Those who saw the MCI bus we converted and lived in are familiar with Terry’s work. She did 90% of the work on the bus, including reskinning the sides and installing RV style windows, and building the oak kitchen and bedroom cabinets from scratch. Some guys buy their wives sexy garter belts or take them to Victoria’s Secret this time of year. I buy my wife a tool belt and take her to Lowe’s or Home Depot!
After we took our showers and were getting into bed Thursday night, I discovered water running across the floor. Terry pulled the access panel away from our tub/shower combination and found a leak. That’s not good. She dried up the water, and decided the faucet cartridge (which is basically the inner workings of the Moen faucet) in the shower was bad, and it was directing water toward the tub spigot, which needed to be reseated and re-caulked.
So yesterday we went to Lowe’s and found a replacement cartridge, and back home it only took Terry a half hour or so to replace the bad one, reset and re-caulk the tub spigot, and the leak was gone!
I sure like being married to Mrs.Fix-It! And she’s a lot prettier than Rocky, Greg, and Ron! 🙂
Thought For The Day – There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.