A left-handed misadventure

By Clif Knight

I’m no handyman when it comes to tearing something apart and putting it back together. Neither do I function well when it comes to organizing and assembling the parts of a child’s toy in a package inscribed with these words: “Easy to install! Read Instructions. Use screwdriver and pliers.”

I should’ve taken a hint from being a hardheaded left-handed kid who thought he could do anything a right-hander could do.

The first misadventure I can remember occurred on our farm well before I started first grade. I watched patiently while my father assembled 12 plows on the frame of a scratcher. I admired his work and wondered if I could duplicate it. I followed in his footsteps when he returned to the tool shed to put up his wrenches, after which I marched back to the plow with the wrenches in my hands. I unbolted the plows with no trouble but failed to keep track of where each plow and its two bolts belonged. I quickly found there was a difference I hadn’t realized. The bolts didn’t fit the holes, and I had to give up the job when it was less than half done.

My father later confronted me about the mess I’d made and told my mother. She laughed and said, he’ll probably be a mechanic someday.”

My latest misadventure involved the door to one of our double-oven cook stove. It started catching before closing tight and reached the point of becoming non-functional. The oven with a functional door was pressed into service.

I tried to ignore the hanging door, but Geanell would not have it. I saw her working on the door with a screwdriver and asked what she was doing. “I’m fixing the door,” she said, and asked me to take hold of the door as she was unscrewing the last of two screws. As I grabbed the door, it separated and parts hit the floor. “I don’t like what I heard,” I said to myself. “This is not going to be simple and easy.”

The door’s catch was traced to the hinges on one side of the oven, but no damage was found. Parts were re-assembled, and the interior of the door was cleaned. The re-assembly of the door is the last and toughest part. Several attempts to fit the bottom part of the door into slots and hold it in place with both hands while the screws are being tightened have failed.

We’re thankful to have an oven to bake cornbread in, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it’ll hold up. The stove repairman will be our call when the broken door must be fixed.

That’s not all. Every time I enter the storage building, I’m reminded of the new storm door we bought a year ago that is still waiting to be hung.

 

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