I’ve Got That Can’t Do Spirit


I grew up in an apartment. I grew up far removed from tools or handiwork. When you own a home it helps to be coordinated. I am not what you would call coordinated.

We had Chris spend the day with us Monday. He is a professional handyman.

Five ceiling fans installed. Check.

Two TVs hung. Check.

Pendant lamps over the kitchen island. Check.

Kick plate on the door from the garage. Check.

Motion sense light switch in the garage. Check.

Hang a mirror. Check.

There is a feeling of powerlessness watching someone do mundane tasks you can’t do. When it comes to fixing and installing, I’m a can’t do kind of guy.

More than anything, what Chris has going for him is confidence. He knows if he screws up he can fix it. Confidence is power.

My main job Monday was driving to Home Depot three times! On the last trip the cashier asked if I was back or just hadn’t left yet.

The house continues to move closer to home status. There’s still a lot to be done. From here on out the tasks are closer to my level.

17 thoughts on “I’ve Got That Can’t Do Spirit”

  1. My favorite store is Home Depot. I can’t do as much as I used to due to age and disabilities but I love doing that kind of stuff. When Home Depot opened for the first time in CT – I believe North Haven? – a bunch of my friends and family called me and said “You have to see this store! You’ll love it!” I’ve been feminine enough but I just like working with my hands and “creating”. That’s how I see it.

  2. You may not be “handy” in a handyman kinda sense, but you have talents that many do not possess!!! My husband is a master carpenter, and my house the the land of a 1000 unfinished projects……sometimes it is better not to know!!!
    Glad things are coming along.

  3. Not every person (man) is endowed with mechanical, electrical or carpenter skills. My husband is a jack of all trades and master at some. The only problem with having to hire people to do the “small” things is the expense adds up. But nothing to be ashamed of for sure. I loved the Home Depot story.
    Sounds as if your home is coming together nicely. I could not believe the stream of comments the other day on one of your posts. Why are people so ugly nowadays?

  4. Geoff,
    So you’re not a handi man around the house. You can certainly build and operator any kind of computer equipment. And much more with all your science knowledge.
    Like you said, you grew up in an apartment and never had worry about things like that. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Enjoy your new home and all the best to you and your family.

  5. If EVERYONE knew how to do EVERYTHING, there would be a lot of families out there without food on their tables. Think of all the children we’re feeding when we hire out. Geoff, you are a master of many things.

  6. That’s what makes the world go round. Everyone has their own job to do. Love the way your home is coming along. Can’t wait to see when it is done.

  7. I also grew up in apartments but somehow was endowed with the ‘handiman gene’ from my dad and grandfather. After my parents split up I was always the one to hang pictures, and fix whatever we could fix around the apartment, figure out what the ‘funny noise’ was in the car and rewire the lamps. I have an impressive tool bag with my precious 18 volt cordless drill (and a huge set of drill bits). I get a kick out of going to Home Depot and having guys ask me if I need help and tell them exactly what I’m looking for and see the surprised look on their faces when they realize I know what I’m talking about. On the other hand I can’t read a meterological map and when it comes to computers I’m pretty pathetic. Guess it all evens out in the end.

  8. I just can’t believe the amount of work you described being done in one day by one man. I know what it takes to hang lights and fans. Even if the electrical boxes were already in place, that’s a lot of work.

    Is this guy a handyman or a magician?

  9. Actually, ANY home handyman project is actually incomplete until you make the THIRD trip to Home Despot or Lowe’s to get the last little part you forgot on the other two trips.

    I must admit my favorite configuration of these Two ‘Big Box home center’ stores is either across the street from each other, or adjacent in the same parking lot–since who I visit depends deeply upon what I am doing–and who has just the right part in stock…

    I can really identify with 793Tango–my heaviest used tool is my cordless impact driver and drill set. Can’t seem to do any project without having to charge the batteries at least once…

  10. Sometimes even if you DO know how to do something (or could figure it out) it’s better to pay someone else and use your own time for something more productive.

    1. However, the flip side of that is that very often you cannot find someone to do a job correctly, do it the way the boss (wife) wants it done, or di it to the level of quality you require…

      Besides, it’s a hobby of ours to do stuff ourselves instead of paying someone to do it (usually badly) for us. Most of my projects do require new tools occasionally, but I can still do it better and cheaper than many so-called professionals. Geoff has apparently found a very good handyman–I have NOT been that lucky. I do draw the line, however at heavy or extensive concrete work–don’t have the back for it anymore.

      For the rest, I do the plumbing, electrical, drywall, cabinetry, and heavy woodworking, and have almost as many tools as Norm does…and can prove my skills with pictures of several houses and interior details that my wife designed and I built, from scratch…

      1. Most handyman tasks are pretty easy once broken down into smaller steps. Most people are overwhelmed by the magnatude of a project but once you break it down into more bite-sized chunks, it’s not so scary after all.

  11. Was just finishing up moving a ton of lumber into the back yard when a neighbor dropped by and asked what I was up to. I told him we were building a two-story deck with a shade cover. It would end up being the length of our house and stick out 10 feet or so.

    He stood there looking at the pile of lumber, sacks of concrete, boxes of big nails, and other stuff. His comment: “I would never attempt a project that big!”

    So I opened a box, and handed him a single nail…

    “So what is this for?”

    “You do it ONE nail at a time…”

  12. Geoff,
    You may not know which end of the hammer to use, but getting into your computer or cameras, you shine! Right now I need a tech that can tell me how to relieve the paper jam in my “all in one” printer/fax. It is a very important paper that is jammed in there! And when it comes to downloading stuff on the computer, I freeze. But I can put up a new mailbox, or hang pictures and a half dozen other little household needs. And I can’t wait til you start digging up a garden in your little postage stamp yard–If we all had the same talents, nothing would get done nor new stuff invented. Pretty soon, all will be in place and you will look around and feel at home. God Bless your new home.

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