I was sitting in the first floor bathroom just like every morning. The days before had been nice, even unseasonably warm. This morning was cold and the weather people predicted it’d stay that way for a while.
There’s a heater vent in that bathroom, on the floor along the wall right next to the toilet. It’s a warm little room on a cold morning. But as air from that vent hit my feet that morning I felt cold disagreeable air brushing my shoulder.
I looked up and to my right and saw that the storm window was open. I finished my primary project then opened the wood framed window. I put my fingers in the tabs that work the latches of the storm window, pulling them in and then down. Nothing.
I looked closer at the storm window tabs and saw that the one on the right was broken. The tab had come apart from the latch part. The latch part would have to be pried out of the notch in the storm window frame.
I went to the kitchen and got a spoon. I stuck the spoon handle in the latch and pushed while working the other tab in the usual way. The window came down just as it was supposed to, along with a curtain rod and the lacey curtain (left by the previous owners) hung on it.
I went to put the curtain rod back up and saw that it was bent. It would probably take some straightening before it’d go back up on its hanger. I tossed the entire lot on the kitchen table and went to get myself ready to head to the office.
I often hear guys talking about home improvement projects, telling of minor construction jobs they do themselves, “Yeah, over the weekend I ripped out that old wooden toilet and both walls and replaced it with a 6 person hot tub and a 2 car garage” or “We built a 30 foot wide deck around the entire house Saturday morning, luckily we got it all stained before the rain started about 1.”
I nod and smile. If they’d come to my place I’m sure they’d see all kinds of projects screaming for attention, and yet there I sit in a chair reading a book and drinking a beer.
“Why doesn’t he get off his ass and fix that doorknob?” they might well wonder to themselves or even aloud. Because the simple act of closing a storm window results in a downed curtain rod, that’s why.
“If I don’t touch it, I don’t break it,” along with, “How can I be simultaneously angry and bored?” about sums up my approach to fixing things around the house with my own hands. Now, would you like a beer?