I insist on doing home repairs. Why? The main reason is, I’m cheap! I don’t really remember my dad doing many home repairs while I was growing up. In fact, I can’t remember who fixed the toilets. My mother, however, would do interior painting.
When I first married, we had little extra cash. Changing the oil in the car, repairing the toilet, hanging ceiling fans, and doing our own indoor painting became standard operating procedure. We even put up fences. One time we wallpapered. All the while, I played the role of assistant. Now, because of my husband’s disability, I am the master repair person.
This year has been challenging in the DIY arena. First were the tire issues on my farm vehicles. One tractor, two ATV, and one John Deer Gator tire went flat. I do not have a trailer haul these vehicles in for tire repair, and I was not about to pay someone to come out and do it. The solution? Remove the tires and take them in. I use my trusty 2000 Chevy Silverado farm truck for that. But getting the tires off was a nightmare. Especially the Gator tire. The lug nuts weren’t regular size, and I did not own the appropriate tools. Eventually, a friend had to loosen the nuts for me; I did the rest. And the tractor tire! My problem wasn’t that I did not know how to take it off and put it back on. I just wasn’t strong enough to lift the tire off. Finally, however, I made it work. A shovel and a lot of cursing did the trick.
But the pièce de résistance was the toilet repair. My office commode was running. I actually had a toilet repair kit at the house. I’ve done this before, so, piece of cake, right? WRONG! The workspace was virtually inaccessible. I struggled for maybe an hour and was tempted to give up and call a plumber. Then, I began mental calculations. I guessed the visit for a repair would be around one hundred dollars. I already had the kit. The toilet was almost disassembled. And, how long would it take for them to come? I’d have to dash to the house every time I wanted to use the restroom.
I buckled down and persevered. My friend later explained to me that there are specialized tools to get into those small spaces. While we have ten thousand tools in the barn, I will be the first one in line for a special wrench the next time it craters.
I look at it this way. I saved one hundred dollars which I now feel justified in spending on myself. And, it feels so good to have mastered a task.