Toilets and Doorknobs

I’ve never been much of a handy-man around the house. It’s something that I wasn’t really taught growing up, and the Navy has taken care of things most of my adult life. Since I’ve spent the last 14 years either living in barracks or rentals, the landlord was only a phone call away. I’m sure I owned a hammer, but there was never any reason to use it. Now, since we just bought a house, I’m the landlord.

Thankfully, I have my wife. Since her father worked in construction and she was an only child, she got a lot of useful information passed down to her. If we bring a bookcase home from Ikea, she’s probably the one you want to put it together. If the sink is backing up in the bathroom, you should probably just hand the wrench to her. It took me awhile, but I’ve come to terms with all of this. Whenever we talk about a project, I’ll say something like, “Why don’t we call a professional to come in and do that?” she’ll just give me a look. I’ll quickly realize that she is going to fix the lawnmower herself, so I just go back to ironing my uniforms.

Unfortunately, it’s hard for me to just sit back and let her run things because there’s just too much to do in the new house. There were two projects over the weekend that I’m sure are no problem for the folks out there that grew up with this stuff, but were fairly intimidating for me.

First, we decided to replace the toilet in the kids’ bathroom. There’s a weird shelf thing that goes over it, and as a result, the toilet doesn’t fit underneath it if you actually have the lid on the tank. The previous owners found a lid that fit underneath, but it didn’t actually fit the tank, so it looked pretty hokey. We also decided that while we were at it, we would install a smaller toilet since the kids are still young. With any luck, it will improve Little Dude’s aim. As we were installing it, the coolest thing happened. I started to enjoy the work. Sure, it was only a toilet, and CinC HOUSE was helping, but it felt good.

Then, yesterday, I installed a doorknob in the garage…all by myself. Pretty neat, huh?

I’m not saying that I’m ready to start building a new deck, but maybe I’ll run by Lowe’s and pick up on of those thingies that people use to drive screws. Maybe I’ll also get one of the thingamabobs that drill holes. I might even go overboard and get me one of those whatzits that people use to cut wood.

Ah yeahJust call me the handy-man…

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