I took a personal day yesterday to work on a plumbing problem, and do the taxes. I think the taxes were easier, and I worked on those for about seven hours straight.
I often have to pretend, but the truth is that I just don’t have the DIY gene. I do have a nail gun. And a table saw. Only someone who grew up with me can fully appreciate what a scary thought that is. See, I was raised in a family where DIY was not a lifestyle choice but an absolute necessity. If you couldn’t buy it, you built it yourself. If you couldn’t build it yourself, you did without it. If it broke, you fixed it. There were exceptions but not many, and this covered everything from military surplus jeeps to jon boats, from garages to storage sheds and workshops.
My maternal grandfather and uncle were simply amazing. If, for whatever reason, they had decided that they needed a high-energy particle accelerator, by damn they’d have built a high-energy particle accelerator, and likely did it with whatever scrap happened to be handy. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but not by as much as you might think. All by way of saying that, whatever that gene is that they had in abundance, they didn’t leave any for me. I am, no other word for it, a klutz. I learned how to do a few things with great difficulty, but as a general rule I wasn’t allowed near power tools, and it was a wise policy. Carol, otoh, thinks I can do anything. I’ve replaced light fixtures and fencing, installed ceiling fans and laminate flooring, built retaining walls and box lids. Basic stuff. Once she wanted a rose arbor, so I designed and built one. It was ok. It even stood up to the elements for several years. She thought it was great.
All I could think was that, if either my grandfather or uncle saw it, they would laugh themselves silly. And yet I consder, could either of them write a story? Novel? I don’t think so. So whatever gene I did get, I’ll take it. And make do for the rest.