There was once a time the mere sight of me pulling my toolbox out from under the cabinet was enough to send our dog into hiding. Dogs, we all know, have a special instinct of when danger is arriving.
My wife jokes that she’s happy I figured out how to use a keyboard because if I were in my grandfather’s world where I’d have to fix the family tractor on the fly in the middle of a wheat field, we’d surly starve.
I guess that is why me putting together a grill the other day was such a big deal around our home.
My record with mechanics is spotty to say the least. One time, while still newlyweds, my wife’s car pulled into the driveway with a flat. Assuming my traditional duties of husband, I offered to change the tire for her. Oddly though for the next couple days she complained about an odd ‘thumping’ as she when driving back and forth to the work. The mystery sound remained unsolved until a few days later when a friend stopped by and he offered to check it out.
“Hey,” he said. “Is there a reason you only put one lug nut on the wheel?”
So know you get the picture. My life is filled with finishing a project and discovering extra parts left over or forcing a piece to fit, Somethings I even find myself taking something back apart after realizing maybe I should’ve read the instructions. My wife even enforced what she called the “six dang-it” rule. Upon reaching the thresholds tools were packed away for the day. This, she said, for the family’s safety.
But I guess this is what makes this modest grill a beacon of success around our home. Some people have the knack to work with tools. Others of us struggle with them like some people struggle learning Latin. And when it comes to tools, my Latin is terrible.
This should give you a bit of insight to what was going on inside my head when opening the box. Most people see a collection of parts along with a set of instructions. For people like me, we see a swarm of angry bees preparing to puncture our self-confidence.
Moving slowly and methodically, I laid the parts of the floor of the garage, studied them, and even glanced at the instructions. In the sprit of full disclosure, I cheated and looked at the picture on the box a few times along the way.
Much like the lore of “Casey Swung the Bat”, there was quiet around the Woolsey homestead for an hour. Even our dog stayed safely in retreat.
Maybe I’m getting older or wiser. Maybe I’m losing my so-called bark in life. But somehow, after a few missteps and retreats, a grill was standing in our garage. The box was empty, all parts were accounted for, and there was no need shimmy a piece of wood beneath one of the legs in order to level the cooking surface.
Life is filled with small steps along the road to success. And like anything else, we’re never too old to expand our personal toolset. That is, so long as we keep it under six dang-its.
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