Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dad would be Proud!

Woman: 1 Washing machine: 0! W00T!

I have always been a big fan of DIY. I hate paying someone else to do what I can do myself. That applies to fixing stuff too. Usually in my case fixing it was D.I.D ("Do It Dad" rather than Do It Yourself)
As my son put it so eloquently in my Dad's eulogy in April, "There were some members of the family that had active To Do lists for Grandad at the time of his passing".

*ahem* Guilty as charged.

Once my horrified middle son looked at our calendar and saw the following scribbled under the next day's date "Grandad coming: Change locks". I had to reassure him by pulling the new lock set for the back entry and holding it up.

Sharpening my kitchen knives was another task that fell to my Dad. My dull knives drove him crazy, so each visit he would hone each blade carefully till they had a perfect edge. I would walk around with band-aids on half my fingers for the entire week.

Dad felt up to most of his usual tasks for the year and a half after he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He built an amazing hot rod in his little workshop in between bouts of chemo. He visited his Dr in the city, staying with us and taking care of my little jobs in the evenings. The list, posted on my calender, beside his Cancer clinic schedule gave us both a welcome sense of normalcy during that time. He was still Dad, my hero, who could, and did, fix, build and repair anything. We needed that. It's who he was...always there for his family, all six of his kids and my Mom, not to mention dozens of friends and relatives.

His passing left a huge hole in the fabric of out days. But now, when something breaks or needs a little fixing, Daniel and I ask, "What Would Oliver Do?" And when the washer gorged itself on a rag rug and refused to spit it up, no matter how hard I pounded it on the back, (don't tell me that's not your first response too!) I set to figuring out how I could do Dad proud.

I found what I thought was the problem, took the panels off, disassembled the hose from the pump, flushed, and dug out the gunk, and put it all back together. It works. Of course. I had the very best teacher, and all those years of watching Dad, and handing him tools and driving to the hardware store...again....have paid off.

Thanks Dad.

And Dad? I bet you're especially proud of me...not ONE bad word.


Kim Mailhot said...

You are the rock star Girl ! How great that you learned so much from watching your dad ! He must be getting such a kick out of that watching you from where he is now. And no bad words ??? That is really impressive !

Dawn said...

You're my hero, Arlene; may I call you Mrs. Fix-it?
You gotta know who's gonna get a call if my washer or dryer (better start reading up on dryers too) go on the fritz. I'm rather proud of myself. Recently when the hubby was not home, I actually put a coat tree together all by my lonesome (I'm glad they had picture instead of word instructions ~ you know me). I only made one mistake which I rectified by taking 2 screws out and re-screwing them in again.

Mary S Hunt said...

you are the woman!!!
and no bad words...i am impressed!!

arlene said...

Thanks Girls! I'm just learning that I can at least TRY stuff like this. It's like actually writing in my journal. Who knew?


Karyn said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad, Arlene....the post as well as the effort to successfully DIY. I'm proud of you too!