Saturday, December 11, 2010



Charles, my future brother-in-law, was 16 the first time I met him.  In an unheated garage attached to the house, he was elbow deep in the guts of his Bombardier Ski-doo; tinkering, puttering, tuning up and just fiddling with the engine to get it to function the way he wanted it to.

Like his dad, Charles was good with machines.  I admired him that, but I didn't envy him.  No, the desire to fix and or repair is not part of my genetic makeup.  It's not that I can't do it, it's just that I don't want to.  Tools?  Yes, of course, I have tools.  I even have some power tools, but given my druthers, I prefer hand tools to those with the inherent ability to maim quickly and severely.
Friends and I cut our own wood for a few years and I discovered that I couldn't sharpen my chain saw evenly, so  it always cut in a curve until I took it to a professional to right it.  I couldn't keep a lawn mower running smoothly for more than 3 years without an expensive repair bill or just replacing it.  My rototiller gave out after a few years.  I was never able to master the string outlet of my multiple weed whackers.  I say multiple because whenever the one I was using ran out of string, I'd just go buy a new machine.  Machines are great time savers but I find them to be unreliable.  So in time two things evolved in my approach to tasks around the manse:  I was well enough off to be able to hire someone to do upkeep tasks and alternatively I could do some tasks myself with hand tools.  It takes much longer to spade a garden by hand, but the spade doesn't break down, I get a good physical work-out and an overwhelming sense of satisfaction for a job well done.

Some years back, my youngest inquires: "dad, you make more money than most of my friend's dads, and I was wondering how come they all have things like snow-mobiles, 4 wheelers, motor bikes, and motor boats and all like that there, and we don't."

"There are a number of reasons for that Jay, but honestly the main reason is simply that I won't waste my money on something that is guaranteed to break down and I don't know how to fix."

I do have a car.
I do have a laptop computer
I do have a cell phone
And now I have a blasted Snow blower.

No, I don't have a clue as to how to fix any of them should they malfunction (and you and I both know that they will indeed malfunction.)

Sometimes you compromise your principles; it's part of being human.

I think perhaps I'll Christen my kayak Rosebud!

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8 Comments:

Blogger Berowne said...

"Someimes you compromise your principles; it's part of being human."
Thank you, President Obama. :-)

3:53 PM  
Blogger Everyday Goddess said...

Well, it can be said, that you are providing work for those who are better at fixing things. That's a good thing.

Happy Kayaking!

10:09 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I know what you mean. I live in the snow belt, but I have resisted the idea of a snow blower for years. It's hard enough to get ME started out the door on a snowy morning, but the thought of having to start a mechanical beastie in the cold ... give me my trusty snow scoop any day :o)

9:10 PM  
Blogger Tumblewords: said...

I can sure relate to this. Sometimes I hold my breath while hoping something doesn't break at this moment. :) Once in a while I fix something, kinda. I enjoyed this piece!

11:00 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I am sooo not mechanically inclined. I would much rather do the physical work if I can...Instead of using a machine.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

Rosebud is a perfect name for your kayak, Rel!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Lyn said...

I'm for buying a new "anything", rather than try to fix what's destined to break sooner or later. I do tinker for 5 minutes though, for moral reasons...
Like what you have to say...

8:40 AM  
Blogger kathew said...

good old reliable kayaks...no moving parts there except for the rudder! Fun post to read!

11:24 AM  

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