Posted May 19, 2010 (One year into widowhood)
Many years ago, I read a book titled: The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck M.D. His first and memorable sentence reads: Life is difficult. How many times have you and I found that statement to be more than true? It seems that few things in life are ever easy. No big surprise if you have been around more than a handful of years. I don’t think that is necessarily a negative attitude, just a realistic one perhaps.
My Bofren was a very handy person and was always willing to tackle almost any project around the house. He was skilled in many areas of homeownership and had an array of power tools, hand tools and a varied selection of all kinds of hardware. After we moved into our new home in the end of September 2008, aside from planting a lawn and some basic necessities such as installing blinds and curtain rods, Buck was itchy to get started with building his dream garage. He had just gotten it under roof and shingled before his heart attack struck him on New Year’s Day, 2009. Obviously, he had been too busy to get any of his tools and hardware organized in that three-month span, so, his inventory is still scattered amongst the garage, shed and basement.
I have few regrets about my relationship with my soul mate, but now looking back, I really wish I would have spent more time just hanging out with him, when he was busy playing his "Handy Andy" role. I could have learned so much from him, if only I had taken the time and I know he would have thoroughly enjoyed being my teacher. My heart hurts right now as I reflect on all he accomplished for us and for so many others when there was a need. He always enjoyed doing projects for other people, more than he liked doing them for us, as he saw the homestead jobs as self-serving and not as important. He only made them a priority because they were important to me and he liked to keep the little woman happy!
Over the past several months, I have been trying to make our new house more organized and homey. A few days ago, I hung some pictures in my living room and of course made more holes than necessary, because I miscalculated. Then my frustration grew when I hung my ironing board holder in my walk-in closet. I’m thinking it must be part of Murphy’s law, that you are guaranteed to run into a wall stud when you don’t want to and they are never where you hope they will be.
I have recently shared that since Easter, I have not been able to have an “ugly cry”. That was before my Powder Room project.
I consider myself to be of average intelligence and trusted that I could install a toilet paper holder. How hard could it be? I’m sorry to say, I handled it poorly! Just finding everything I needed was trying and time consuming. The instructions called for a quarter inch drill bit and yes some of us read the directions. I’m thankful that I realized they were lying when they said it would take 15 minutes to complete the project; the audacity! The drill bit looked bigger than a quarter inch to me, but I trusted what it read, or at least what I thought it read(with my glasses on).
The short version of my story: drill bit made holes too big, only after the drill died and I had to recharge the battery. Had to FIND larger wall anchors and screws to match, that would work with the new bath hardware. I boogered up the set screw so that now it won’t turn either way. The toilet paper holder is on the wall, but one side jiggles. I had the “ugly cry” and a tantrum to boot, and threw the tape measure out of the powder room in frustration! The 15 MINUTE JOB only took most of the afternoon and so it goes with the inexperienced homeowner.
God wasn’t listening to my prayers that day. I was humbled and embarrassed at my behavior. One of these days, I will learn the lesson He has been trying to teach me for years: perfection is not to be experienced this side of heaven. And that day's lesson: it's okay if the holder jiggles.
So, if you come to visit, and need to powder your nose, be very careful if you examine my work(wo)manship, especially any in my circle, who take blood thinners! The set screw is razor sharp and could prove to be a threat to your life. You’ve been warned! Examine at your own risk! I think I will ask for help the next time or at least have someone teach me to identify the right drill bit. It's not fun to learn these things the hard way, but I am learning and life is good. I am thankful!