I like to do things myself whenever possible.  I am pretty good at fixing things around the house, but even so, there are jobs that are beyond my skill, strength and agility level. I know my limits; I recently had someone replace some of the black pipe and shut off valves in the basement. Even if I had the know-how, I don’t have the tools.

Simple tasks that require time and patience – those are my specialty: painting, papering, refinishing, small electrical or mechanical repairs, patching/caulking/ glazing,  or replacing the inner workings of my toilet.

I make things as square and level as possible in my old house when I repair them. I try to repair things with an eye to the future – I want the next person who repairs it not to curse my efforts.  (I find myself muttering the previous homeowner’s name every time I run across something that was done poorly, or with mind-blowing short-cuts.)

I know I can call my brother-in-law if I get in a bind, and I have – he is helpful, cheerful and has every tool I might ever need to borrow.  He also is not afraid to go up a ladder – which is something I have given up for safety’s sake.

What set me on this rant today?  I went out to install my new license plates. Not knowing if the screws might be slotted or phillips, I took both screw drivers with me.  The back ones were slotted. Easy peasy.  The front ones – I shook might head and went back in the house for a pair of pliers – I was hoping I could get the fasteners out without a socket set (I don’t have one). Two plates – two different kinds of fasteners.

Success!  It would have really galled me to call for help with such a simple thing.  Self reliance? It’s a pride thing.

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