Yesterday I fixed my printer. Paper jam. Not as simple as it sounds. Then I had to fix my microwave. Soup exploded. I had to wash all the surfaces and remove, wash, and replace the turntable. Also not as simple as it sounds. And I fixed a lamp. I don’t know the names of all the parts so I can’t exactly describe what I did, but it wasn’t simple.
Generally I can’t fix anything, so to accomplish this much in one day is nothing short of amazing. It got me wondering what else I might do with my new-found powers. In my mind, I travelled from room to room in my house. What needs to be done? I’ve got to get right on it.
Well, my laundry room faucet needs some adjusting. It closes reasonably well if you push really hard, but you shouldn’t have to do that. I pictured water all over the floor if I took it apart, so I moved on. What about the washing machine? Three times in the last few months it has signaled that the clothes are ready for the dryer and when I opened it, it was filled with water. Before I knew my true powers I handled it by starting over and praying it wouldn’t happen again. So far that works, so I think I’ll pass on this one, too.
And, of course, my computer needs an update. I’ve been avoiding this for some time now. I can do it, but who wants to? We all know it’s not an “update.” It’s a change. Or changes. And not necessarily for the better. You’re lucky if you break even.
By this time, my self-confidence was starting to slip back to the “I can’t fix anything” stage that I’ve lived in all my life. I didn’t like the way it felt. Within two days the universe stepped in and offered me another challenge. The space heater that I keep in my bathroom for when I shower on extra cold mornings began delivering cool air instead of warm. I looked it over front to back and top to bottom. Not a clue. I love this little machine. It’s been in the family for more than thirty years. I gave it a hug. It should not be picked apart, but laid to rest with the honors it deserves. And that’s what I’m going to do. And it doesn’t mean I can’t fix things anymore either. I’m just doing right by an old friend. You know that’s true. Right?
Norma Libman is a journalist and lecturer who has been collecting women’s stories for more than twenty years. You can read the first chapter of her award-winning book, Lonely River Village, at NormaLibman.com.