From Childhood Drudgery To Middle Age Accomplishment

When I was a kid I used to hate Saturday mornings. My father was very adept at fixing/repairing things and if he had a project planned then I was going to part of it. Most of the time it was limited to holding a flashlight for him to see what he was working on. Imagine standing with your arm up over your head, wrist bent holding a flashlight for 3 hours on a beautiful Saturday morning as a 10 year old. Lovely.

Dad could repair cars, electronics, small kitchen appliances, most anything electrical and he was the neighborhood expert on the gas boiler for the radiator heating systems in the houses. So I stood and sometimes watched and wished I was I was anywhere but there. I also wondered why, with 2 other brothers I was the lucky selectee. Yes, life as a 10 year was not fair.

Fast forward 40 years and now I am an accomplished handy man. I can repair most electrical items in our house, re-wire wall sockets, put up ceiling fans, attic lights, and lighting in closets. I have installed well pumps and sprinkler systems, gutted and remodeled our kitchen, 2 bathrooms, built a shed and wired it for 110/220v and kept a 15 year old washer/dryer running far longer than they should have run. I can do most plumbing repairs, including fixing tub stoppers, and good, not great, general carpentry. All of this comes from picking memories of watching my Dad work on stuff for hours on end. I have probably saved thousands of dollars over the years by having this skill.  My dad has been gone for over 20 years but I still thank him when I fix something at home.  Little did I know I would learn so much from just holding a flashlight.
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1 Response May 1, 2012

This sounds too familiar. My father attempted his own repairs, etc., because he was<br />
super thrifty. He had to peruse a "how-to" manual before attempting said repairs, as<br />
he was book smart but not exactly handy by any means.<br />
<br />
I entertained myself by disassembling and re-assembling malfunctioning or broken<br />
gadgets and toys. Over the years I picked up the unspoken language and techniques<br />
of mechanical assemblies and gadgets. Now, when I have time, I'll gladly waste a few hours tearing apart some cheap toy, tool or device, just for the heck of it. And, like you, I think of and quietly thank my dad for ingraining these talents and skills in me.