Sunday, November 13, 2005

Tools of the Trade

Originally written December 4, 2004
"Harry* thinks we need to buy a backhoe now," commented my husband's cousin at the wedding reception table. We were catching up with family news, having not seen each other since August. Harry and Shawna* had moved into their own "money pit" this past year, escaping suburbia for rural New Jersey. As is often the case, there were a few little surprises in store for them in their new residence, including the state of the septic system, hence, the backhoe. Having enjoyed his experience with the borrowed machinery, Harry felt they should own their very own backhoe, in the event of another ditch-digging emergency.

We laughed at the preposterous idea, while at the same time comiserating that there were costly machines and tools in our very houses that our men had purchased so that they could be prepared for just about anything. "Yet," Shawna said, "if I pull out both racks of my dishwasher at the same time, the whole kitchen tilts." Appliances used daily, more than the saw and special drill bits that gather dust in my garage, limp along in my life. My mother-in-law fares no better. While visiting recently, I could not get her dishwasher to start. "Oh, you have to lean against the door with your hip and jab the start button hard with the handle of a knife, " she instructed.

We have a special implement that attaches to our tractor (yes, tractor, not lawn mower) that is called a hay fork. This little item is used three times a year to move a roll of hay from our hay trailer, also used but three times a year, to the ground. In contrast, our fifteen year old refrigerator, opened about a zillion times a day, is held together with packing tape. The interior is a cave without illumination, since the lights long stopped working. I hate to even think what lurks in the dark corners. And while I'm on the refrigerator, why is it that the little plastic shelves, which break off like saltine crackers, aren't better made but cost almost as much as the refrigerator costs to replace?

My washing machine, which runs continuously, lasted fifteen years with several replacements of the agitator spline. It was a good machine, if you did not mind the sound of a jet engine just off your kitchen. It finally died from an overload of sheets and towels, and I stood agonizing over the models in the showroom. After much soul searching, I thought of Harry's backhoe, and bought the most expensive one I could afford.

*names changed to protect the guilty

1 comment:

FatcatPaulanne said...

LoL. I know exactly what you mean!

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