Trying to get ready for my Mother's 90th birthday party this Saturday (40-50 guests) and possibly putting my home on the market. I made a list of the items that needed to be repaired, painted, glued, screwed and removed.
I was not raised in a household where I was taught how to do these things, so some I learn on my own, some I learn by somebody showing me and some I do the old fashioned way - I pay to have them done.
The genes I inherited in home repair came from my father. My mother can just about fix anything but she was not somebody that showed you how to do it because she was so busy raising five kids she just did it. And we let her because that's the way it was.
Now, my father. A dear family friend once said to me about my father "You're father would do anything for anybody - if he could do anything". Yes, that sums up my dad. He would study a hand saw for 30 minutes trying to figure out which side to use and then go and use the straight side. You think I'm making this stuff up?
The first thing that has been on my list of repairs is a sliding shower door that the long plastic guide has since turned brittle and broken off in small parts the last few years. So the shower door has to be sort of lifted and moved over. I go to Lowe's and they have nothing in stock but am told they would have it online.
I go online. They have nothing like this at all. This plastic guide is what, 4 ft long? They have these little 2 inch long thingies. And it shows two different models and they are like under $3 for each one. So I order 2 of each not quite knowing what I need, but knowing I need something. Of course, they are not what I need. Anybody out there in repair land have a clue where I can find this long plastic guide? Oh yes, and did I mention that for my $12 online shopping spree at Lowe's I paid $10 for shipping? What a deal!
Then I have this bi-fold door in my kitchen that some doohickey broke at the top. So that door had to be lifted and twisted to open and close for about the last six years. I mostly left it open but if I cut the corner too quick into the kitchen I would invariably catch my shoulder on the open door. I've gotten used to that bruise on my left shoulder. So, I look at the door and go to Lowe's and buy this pin and then this other thing with a roller on top. I get home, get out the step ladder and get up there and nope, not the right thing. It needs a long thingy in the track, not the pin on the door.
So back to Lowe's. Again, two different things that kinda, sorta look alike but I'm not sure so again, I buy both. And nobody in a red vest walks by. Each item is about $4 each.
Divine Providence shines on me for when I get home my very tall, very helpful, very wonderful son-in-law is at my house. So I hand him the thingamabobs and ask which one he thinks would work so that the pin at the top of the door would fit into the track. He tries the metal one, but nooooo, that's not the one. Then he tries the plastic one and Eureka! that is the ticket. The door glides open and closed beautifully.
But wait, there's more. Isn't there always more when you are dealing with home repairs? The knob had come off the door a long time ago too. So I go back to Lowe's and buy two, shiny new knobs. I go to put them on. The screws that are in the packet with the knobs are 1/2 inch. The door is at least one inch wide.
Back in the car and smart me, I bring along the knob and take the screw from the other door so I have an example of what I need. I put them in a plastic baggy, put them in my purse and the good Catholic girl in me worries the whole time that Lowe's is going to think I stole them. I know I have to be clandestine about this so they don't make me walk the walk of shame! So I stand in front of the wall of screws and all of those other weird items I know nothing about for several minutes. Of course no one wearing a red vest walks by me the whole time I am standing there perusing 32,800 different types of screws.
I finally find the right packet. I match up the screw in my hand with the screw that is 8 1 1/2. Whatever the hell that all means. I pay my $1.19, get in my car and drive home.
I reach around to the back of the door and push the screw through the hole, it comes out the other side and I start to screw the shiny new knob onto it when it pushes through the hole. I am now wrapped around this door in a very odd position (have you seen my bosom?) As a matter of fact, my finger pushes through the hole and I have to wiggle it around to unstick it.
Yes, I get back into my car. This is not going to defeat me! I am going to get this damn door fixed if it is the last thing I do. I drive back to Lowe's. I find a round metal thing, I believe they are called washers. It is about 2 inches in diameter and I could not tell you what it cost because by this time I am a wild woman, standing at the check stand, muttering to myself and foaming at the mouth.
But the goods new is, it worked, it worked very well. I am now able to put my hand on the knob, the knob stays in place and the door glides open, oh so smoothly, and the door glides shut. I stood there for about 10 minutes just opening and closing the door.
Yes, I know I have lots of other talents but home repair is not one of them. I am a gracious hostess and everybody that walks into my home this Saturday for Mom's party will be invited to open and close my pantry door. Do I know how to entertain or what?