Thursday, April 21, 2005

Cardinal Sin

This week, I did something I swore to myself I'd never do - I learned to use my husband's saws. Refusing to learn something basic is a survival instinct in our house. Not knowing how to run the saws, I had the mental excuse why I could not fix some of the many things around the house and barn that should be fixed. Dh just isn't home enough to fix all those things, and though we've hired someone for most of the remodeling, I am annoyed at the pace of his work. I suppose a determined woman can out-work a man anyday.

Other reasons for not running the saws is the mental picture of severed body parts, caused by inattention while sawing. Sawing is not a multi-tasking type of activity. It requires total attention. I am finding, however, that small dogs and small children are afraid of the sound, and will stand back.

Few men would tolerate my working conditions. I am replacing the floor with laminate flooring and the moulding in my daughter's 2nd floor bedroom. The saws are in the walk-out garage at basement level. Here is a typical "cut": I make my measurements, change Will's diaper, get him a drink of water, carry his 30 pounds downstairs, accompanied by our three dogs. I plug in the saws, which I unplug each use for safety around a three year old who is smart enough to turn them on. By now, I've forgotten my measurement, unplug the saw, and run back upstairs with paper to write it down. On the way down, answer questions of daughter. Make cut, and carry wood back up two flights of stairs, accompanied by son and three dogs. There, I realize the wall isn't square, and need to cut off 1/4 inch of the moulding. Sneak out quickly to run back downstairs to make the cut before my parade of kids and dogs realize I'm gone. Will has his toy, or sometimes, my real hammer when I return, and declares his intent to help me. Somehow, I manage to get through the day and actually get some of the work done.

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