When brother Bob and Beth come to visit, they always offer to fix things, and what a team they are! I hadn’t expected them to jump in Thanksgiving night, but they did a number of repairs before midnight and started again the next morning.
One of the things that was high on the list was cleaning the solar tubes. Neighbor Bob installed them for us several years ago, and we had quite a collection of dead bugs. I wanted to leave them and consider them ceiling art, but I was outvoted. We hadn’t been able to open them ourselves. Beth found instructions on line, and Bob could follow them. It still was not easy, but he did the first one while David watched. David worked on the second one, and when the third one presented problems, everyone helped.
Bob removed the pin in a squeaky hinge while Beth looked up the various things that could cure it. David watched and did the second one himself.
The most challenging job was rehanging a bi-fold door that had jumped off track. I was impressed at Bob’s agility – mighty good for an 82-year-old.
I was taking photos as unobtrusively as possible, wanting a record of the many things they did. Because of Bob’s sensitivity, I have this picture that I will always treasure. He asked for a flashlight before going into the attic, and he noticed my hand reaching for the camera as he clipped the flashlight to his shirt. He turned to face me and said, “You want a picture, don’t you?”
I was stunned that he not only knew what I longed for, but he paused in his fix-it mode to make it possible.
We laughed that Beth called her job “stuporvising”. You can make up your own definitions for that. Still, having someone look up things, provide another pair of eyes, offer suggestions, and stand by to fetch tools is invaluable. David was the avid apprentice, learning by watching and copying. He has been doing routine jobs around the house, and now he learned how to do other things. Lise was the list-keeper and general helper, and I was the useless photographer. I am very grateful for all that they did.
I asked the group to help me make a comprehensive list of the things they worked on, because I knew I did not have photos of everything. If you care to read the list, see if there are things that you could do in your own home. Here it is in the order we remembered them. They trimmed evergreens that had grown above windows, put new batteries in the front doorbell, replaced batteries in a thermostat, planted tulips, removed bugs from solar tubes, rehung a bi-fold door, locked windows that had gotten out of line, moved a very heavy recliner (by taking it apart) to another room, checked a suspected leak in the attic, stopped a bathroom light from flickering, shifted the strike plate on the laundry room door to make it shut correctly, painted a moldy spot on a ceiling, un-squeaked a closet door, and replaced the water filter under the house. The last job was so hard that Bob recommended we get a plumber to do it next time. He and David did not have the tools or strength to do it easily.