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October 21, 2014

Living Alone

I would say that throughout my marriage, I did lots of wifely things! Just like my mom, I cooked and sewed and cleaned the house. But, because Don worked practically around the clock, I also did things that my dad would have done. I mowed the lawn and painted the house. I also did the finances because I didn't like the way Don did them. It wasn't until I began working full time after the children were mostly grown that I hired someone to help clean for me. I'm not saying this to pat myself on the back -- but merely to state that what needed to get done around the house mostly was done by me with a little help from Don when he was available. And, during vacations when he was away from work, we chose to take our children and run away to Yosemite and places where we could both just relax and rejuvenate ourselves.

All of this said, one of the things I simply cannot do is to fix anything. So, those things were left for my husband when he had a moment here or there. Whether it be computer problems or plumbing, things that broke or things to be constructed for birthday or Christmas presents, he needed to be on hand for the project. I can't tell you how many times we put toys together at 2:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve after the midnight service at church -- or the number of times I read instructions while his head was under the sink fixing a leak.

Perhaps that is why I loved remodeling my house and having all those handymen around for so long. My wonderful contractor still drops by now and then to see how everything is working. When something breaks I begin feeling a bit panicky because I keep thinking I ought to be able to fix simple things without always paying someone to come to my rescue.

All this is preamble to the fact that I have been exceedingly proud of myself for the past few weeks. A light fixture broke in the basement bathroom and I didn't know what to do. But, Charles suggested that I get the part that broke from Hardware Sales. I then examined the twin fixture and figured out what to do with the part. After trying a variety of ways to extract it from the fixture when I installed it incorrectly, I finally figured it out. Remember, these things are not intuitive for me. Then, two lights blew out of my living room lamp, and I had to take it apart to extract the bulbs and, after another trip to my favorite hardware store, I finally got the bulbs in correctly and it actually worked! I have also fixed my kitchen faucet and I've just finished scraping lots of paint off of my dining room ceiling. Oh yes, I also figured out what was wrong with my VCR player. It has been a very productive week.

Now, these things I've done are really, really simple for many people. My daughter, Jeni, could do all of them in 10 minutes with her eyes closed. She took a broken burner on our stove apart when she was a young teen, fixed the problem, and put all the many parts back together without even a schematic to figure out where they went. I was aghast! When James was around four or five, I got a three-dimension puzzle for us to do. While I was trying to figure out the instructions, I looked up and he had already put it together. Nico builds Lego projects designed for much older children. I am simply not mechanical, nor do I see relationships between objects. It is my saving grace that I 'm attuned to relationships between humans.

I guess we all have our talents. But, I also have a great deal of extra pride this week for tackling some projects that would normally be beyond my ability. I guess you are never to old to learn new tricks.

Posted by Marilyn at October 21, 2014 10:56 AM


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