Handyman classes from Dad | Way of life

My dad was a handyman — he could fix anything.

As he did projects, he’d put up with his little helper. As I “helped,” I learned. Because Dad was patient, I know how to paint, fix a screen door, and use a variety of tools.

It’s no surprise that I grew up to be a handymom.

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But somehow, for me, it never works quite as well as it did for Dad.

Maybe that’s because Dad’s workshop was well stocked. If he needed a tool, nail or screw, he could find it in some drawer in the garage.

I never have what I need. We don’t have a workshop. I have my own “renovations” toolkit of leftovers, but our tools are scattered. Every project takes a special effort.

Recently, I needed to replace some old vertical blinds in a bedroom.

I had recently installed a blind in my living room, so I began with great confidence. “These are lighter,” I thought. “This will be almost.”

Oh, foolish woman that I am!

The old blinds came down quickly — I noticed they had been installed with concrete screws. Ah! Good idea. I wouldn’t need wall anchors.

But I needed screws. So I took a sample, went to the hardware store and bought a dozen.

“I think I need a new drill bit, just in case,” I said. The helpful fastener expert told me what to buy, so I went to the tool section to get it. As I stood in line, I checked the screws.


The screws had a different pattern from the sample. Apparently, the standard cross has been replaced by a star. I bought a new bit to match.

Back at the crime scene, I was pleased with the ease that I installed the brackets. Then I picked up the blind.

It was a half-inch wider than the window! What? My windows are 48 inches wide. But they aren’t. Turns out this one was closer to 47.5 inches at the top.

Not to be undone, I moved the brackets to the outside. In the process, the drill fell, the bit was bent, and I first installed them upside down.

Once all was righted, the blind went up — and stayed up.


When it comes to household repairs, my dad was a wizard.

I’m more like the sorcerer’s apprentice, forever righting the wrongs I have done.

Still, I think he’d be proud — I’m so much like him.

He could fix things.

And I’m always in a fix.

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