A Man and His Tools

My wife and I define home improvement differently …
"A power I have, but of what strength and nature I am not yet instructed."
—William Shakespeare

Recently, I built a closet by sawing a hole in the wall between an upstairs hallway and our garage attic. To accomplish this, I borrowed one of the coolest tools ever invented, a reciprocating saw. It looks like the lovechild of a jigsaw and the gun Arnold Schwarzenegger used in the Terminator movies. It was loud, messy, and made quick work of the wall.

This project turned out quite well, especially when viewed in dim light. After 22 years of marriage, my wife, Lauren, has learned when to trust me on home projects and when to have the phone book ready. Her red-flag list includes anything involving electricity, water, chewing gum, or taking apart major appliances.

This follows a lecture from Ted the repairman. Lauren called him after I'd tried to fix the dishwasher by taking apart the motor, then putting it back together with far fewer pieces than it had originally.

A few months prior to that, I had created a water cannon in the basement by installing a whole-house filter but forgetting to tighten the nuts before turning the water back on. Eventually everything stopped leaking, but the incident got me banned from plumbing projects.

[A little historical context here: The naysayers forget that failure is the greatest teacher. Remember, Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he fixed his dishwasher.]

Currently, I'm raising our kitchen ceiling. This first involved tearing down the old ceiling using a crowbar and the aforementioned reciprocating saw. Everything was going perfectly, until I made the mistake of casually remarking to Lauren: "You know, I'll bet I could take down this entire house in less than a day."

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Disagreement; Home; Marriage
Today's Christian Woman, Winter, 2006
Posted September 12, 2008

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