Today’s guest post comes from Verily Sherrilee
My house is 100 years old this year. When I purchased it, it was a ways off from the big 1-0-0 and I didn’t think too much about the age, but now that we’re at the century mark, it occurs to me that this is a remarkable number. If the house were a person, a birthday card from Obama would be showing up this year.
I never learned any house-handy maintenance tricks when I was growing up. My mother was a great gardener and both my parents were terrific at remodeling rooms, steaming off wall paper and hanging new. But other than that, neither of them was all that handy. Of course we moved around A LOT when I was growing up so may we weren’t in a house long enough for anything to go wrong.
So I’ve had to learn my own maintenance skills. Luckily I live near a GREAT hardware store with great staff who are very patient with my questions; they didn’t even laugh when it took me FOUR trips one weekend to finally finish the great woodwork mitering project before Baby came. These days the internet helps as well; I was able to figure out how to change the insides of my kitchen faucet by looking it up on YouTube! Among other things over the years I’ve replaced sash windows, changed out electrical switches, redone the baseboard woodwork, cemented a gap between the house and steps and, of course, put in many new toilet flush valves and flappers. It’s always something around an old house.
So this poem really resonated with me when I ran across it.
The morning brought such a lashing rain
I decided I might as well stay inside
And tackle those jobs that had multiplied
Like an old man’s minor aches and pains.
I found a screw for the strikerplate,
Tightened the handle on the bathroom door,
Cleared the drain in the basement floor,
And straightened the hinge for the backyard gate.
Each task had been a nagging distraction,
An itch in the mind, a dangling thread;
Knocking a tiny brass brad on the head,
I felt an insane sense of satisfaction.
Then I heard a great crash in the yard.
The maple had fallen and smashed our car.
“Handyman” by Barton Sutter from Farewell to the Starlight in Whiskey. © BOA Editions, 2004.
Do you have a maintenance skill you’re proud of?