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Thanks to My Dad

If something is broken I always think I can fix it. My dad was that way too.It seemed to me when I was a kid that he could fix anything. I grew up being taught that it was a waste to discard something that could be mended.

I have actually fixed a myriad and odd assortment of things.Antique furniture, bicycles, a Seth Thomas clock, an old farmhouse left in a state of disrepair from many years of neglect, leaky pipes, vintage clothing, a sewing machine, old plaster frames , broken toys, squeaking steps, gold chains, book bindings, various pieces of jewelry, stone retaining walls, ancient door locks, rotted window sills, a garage door, fountain pens, broken window panes, wicker chairs, a fainting couch opening mechanism, ornate moldings, eye glasses, a player piano, dresser drawers, chain saws.

Sometimes I get paid to fix things. An 1880's papier mache Belsnickle, antique German porcelain dolls, heirloom angels, a collectible Father Christmas that a dog chewed.

If I see someone else trying to fix something, I itch to grab it away from them and do it the right way--my way.

Sometimes I laugh at myself for my audacity to think I can fix anything. But, I continue to attempt to mend the broken, reassemble the fragmented, fix the unfixable.

Almost always, I succeed.

I thank my dad for instilling in me the audacious belief that I can do it, the practical skills needed to make the attempt, knowledge of tools and materials, a common sense approach to step-by-step action, and the freedom to follow intuition as to how it might be done.

His lessons on belief in myself and my abilities, creating an action plan, following intuition, and just plain willingness to give it a try have served me well-- in fixing things and in life in general. I have his tools now, and when I hold his pliers in my hand I feel him with me, saying "You can do it. Just try".  It's a wonderful feeling. 

datura datura 56-60, F 57 Responses Oct 29, 2008

Your Response


I've been a Mr fixit all my life, was an engineer before becoming a bum, people still bring me stuff to weld, machine or to fabricate for some old relic.<br />
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I have not met many women that have the intrest or skills to do what you do. Good for your dad and for you.

Thanks Oldjack!

Hi Tanyi!<br />
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I'm glad you liked the story :-)

It's awesome!! The only hing I can do is get them into a mess....I hope I could be versatile someday as you are.<br />
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I think your story is a wonderful lesson for me of not to waste things in life. Probably I should try to fix them or send them to the second hand market. Making my life more comfortable and savable.<br />
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Thank you, datura. ^ ^

It's nice to feel needed, TheOriginalTalkingLamp ......<br />
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Although perhaps you have me confused with someone else since I'm not a mere mortal. ;-)

Well, you're just full of surprises. Obviously you're no 'mere' mortal though. I don't know many humans with your penchant for fixing. It's an undervalued talent.

I'm impressed mortal. I am going to need people like you in my future country. I, like your father believe nothing should be thrown out that has any hope of being repaired or rebuilt. I'll keep you posted. People like you will be indispensable in the new world.

Clever boy! You sound a lot like my brothers ;-) That's why I ended up being the one helping dad and learning all that stuff from him!

I found this post really interesting. Sadly my dad never taught me to fix things. He never had the patience and would always step in to take over my slow fumblings.. As i got older and 'wiser' i used to pretend to be slow, so that he would step in and finish the job/chore whatever.... It is only now as an adult and that he has gone that i have had to train myself to do all those useful things. I now love to fix things, though im nowhere near as neat as him.

Loved your comment, Honeysuckle! It was the same way with me. Lots of times I was just watching Dad, but was learning so much, too. What a great memory of your dad!

Love your story! I learned alot from my dad to. It wasn't like he was actually teaching me, I just watched him alot and wanted to learn whatever I could. I would always help him fix things and put things together. My brother was out doing his own thing while I just wanted to prove to my dad that I could do anything even though I was a (girl) lol. I give him credit for my common sense and being able to figure things out and having a little bit of knowledge about different things that women aren't supposed to know. <br />
I would put things together thinking I can fix this or at least try. My fondest memory is when I was about 12 I put an entertainment center together, he came in and said, "you did that all wrong" took it all apart, then said " I guess you were right to begin with" I laughed and put it back together the way it was to begin with. After that he was willing to give me more credit for knowing I could do things. I just wanted to earn his respect, it took me many years but when he passed I know I had it and thats all that mattered in the end.

I think that's really good, and contrary to today's "throw away" culture!

Thanks wd2011! We were lucky to have fathers who encouraged us.

Reiki and a mug of tea coming right up!

Can you fix me a mug of tea and stop my leg throbbing ?

I might have written it a few years ago but I still audaciously fix things, resi. <br />
I love it when people revisit my older stories. Most of them still pertain today. And these lessons my Dad taught me will be with me always.

I so agree with that statement datura. When I'm tackling a project, I always try to include my children and have them be involved as well. Not just my daughter, but my son too. <br />
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Sometimes my husband will work on something and will become frustrated by the situation, weather it's taking him longer than expected, or he needs a part that was forgotten when at the store. Thus the temper flares and does nothing to help the situation. <br />
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Where as I will work on that 5 minute job for hours, and would never flip out like that. (oh yes, I do get upset) But what's the point in getting so damn angry? <br />
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Myself and the kids will actually laugh sometimes at him when he's flipping out (so to speak) because it really is funny in a sense, knowing his fit won't solve anything.

Max, it will be your attitude toward them that will give them the confidence more than anything. A daughter very much wants to please her father, and if she senses that he thinks she can do anything, she will feel she can! That was my experience anyway.<br />
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My dad always made me feel like I should give it a try. He empowered me and for this I am very grateful. <br />
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Your daughters are lucky that you are their dad.

Hi Onceuponatime. It's not just women. I've run into a lot of men who won't try either!

I am the same way. I can't imagine how some women simply won't even try to figure something out. <br />
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The other day i was outside waxing my car, when a neighbor pulled in and said "what are you doing?" OK so she's blind (joke) I'm thinking DUHHH I do it every spring, followed by the motorcycles. She simply said "don't let my husband see you doing that, you make me look and feel useless already. <br />
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I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or bad thing. :-)

tosh (tsh)<br />
n. Chiefly British <br />
Foolish nonsense.<br />
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[Probably blend of trash and bosh

NancyDrew--super sleuth! Super secret toolbox even! I love it! NancyDrew, holding her flashlight steadily, creeps into the kitchen, opens the super secret toolbox, withdraws the trusty philips head screwdriver and tightens the loose screw on the screen door handle.....

I even have a secret set of tools in a super secret toolbox hidden in my kitchen. :)<br />
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Tosh. Yes what does it mean? It is fun to say.

Tasmin, please define tosh. I like that one too! tosh, tosh, tosh.....<br />
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NancyDrew...I can just picture you sneaking around secretly repairing things! teehee

You're a wonder Datura.<br />
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My Dad is the same way. I learned a lot from him. My spouse trusts me to fix nothing so I do all my repairs in secret. :)

I love this story!<br />
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Nothing to watch on tv .. just a load of old tosh!

Hi b! <br />
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Not having the proper tools is always a fabulous excuse!<br />

well done all. yes, lady d. it is faff. <br />
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i don't fix things because i refuse to buy tools - or is it, i don't buy tools so that i don't fix things.<br />
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hehe<br />
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ps - i am not obsessive.

I must bin my tendency to faff around!

Faffing about -- what we do here on EP.

faff about/around phrasal verb<br />
to waste time doing unnecessary things: <br />
Stop faffing around!

And I shall use, "Just bin it!"<br />
Ex:<br />
That leftover codfish holds no promise for tonight's dinner; just bin it.