Monday, November 16, 2009

Failed Handyman

I changed three light bulbs in our spotlights yesterday.Since retirement I have convinced myself that I have become a bit of a handyman. Now that is truly pathetic, that a man who can change a light bulb considers himself to have become handy ! I have many colleagues all of whom have been handymen of note. They built cottages, repaired plumbing and electrical faults, fitted windows and built furniture. I lacked all these capabilities and during my working career, when presented with a handyman problem, I would suggest we call "a man" to fix it. The pianist, early in our marriage, gave me an encyclopedia of home repairs which I confess I never read. My eldest daughter is handy in spades. She can build and repair anything from buildings to tractors to barns. She is a farmer and so does not need help at every turn. I asked her where she learned all this and she said she just read a book if she needed to. Much of this skill is acquired by thoughtful planning and self confidence. I think I never ventured forth in the handyman world for fear I would elicit scorn on the part of my handy friends and others of a naturally talented bent. Better do nothing than display my feeble talents. Fear of failure! Though I was of reasonable competence at work, and could grow a good garden, my skill at domestic matters ended at that juncture. For carpentry with inert materials, my credo seemed to be, " measure to cut and hammer to fit ". I consoled myself that the shoemaker should stick to his last.

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