In 2020, my dad and I started working together on projects. This may not seem like a big deal, but before this I didn’t know much about how to make and fix things. I didn’t know much about tools, etc.
You may wonder how I got to be 39 without knowing how to use tools. The simple answer, a coordination problem. When I was in 7th grade (1993-1994), everyone in my class was suppose to take a shop class. Though my coordination is still lacking, it was certainly worse when I was younger. My parents didn’t think it would safe for me to take the class, so they talked to my high school and I got permission not to take the class. Instead I was put in the library for a study hall for that quarter.
Fast forward to now and my dad started working with me on learning how to do some little projects. My first notable project was a broken clock that was in my parents’ sitting room. It had stopped working a long time ago. One day my dad and I went into the garage to his work bench and brought the clock with us. From this project I started to learn the names of some of the tools and how to use them such as the Allen-wrench. The clock was fixed by simply using a kit my dad had purchased awhile back. I read him the directions and helped hold some of the parts in place. The hardest part was getting the pendulum working, but we did. The clock has been hanging again for awhile now and still works like a charm.
Another project we did was put up a birdhouse. My brother made a birdhouse in his shop class. It was never painted and was stored away. This year my dad decided he wanted to put it up and give birds a place to stay this winter. He likes watching birds, we have several birdfeeders that he keeps full, and he gets annoyed when chipmunks, and occasionally other animals, can find a way to climb into the feeder and start eating the food. Anyway, I had an opportunity to help him put it up and took him up on the offer. The first step was painting it. We went to Lowes and he let me pick the color paint I wanted to use. He was going to teach me how to paint it. Now I like the color green, so I picked a really pretty shade of green to use. Then it was time to paint it. It took several days to paint, since to do some of the sides the house had to be moved which required letting the paint dry. My dad painted the post which had to be stuck into the ground in order to be painted. My dad found a post and he used a drill to fasten screws to connect the house and the post. Who knew you could use a drill like a screw driver? I always thought that drills were used solely for putting holes in wood, etc.
Then on Saturday, we carried the house over to the dog yard where the bird feeder is. We touched it up and then stuck it in the ground. Success!
November 8th, was another project. We had a warm day and we had Christmas Lights we wanted to put up. Dad had purchased some colored icicle lights at Lowes to go with the white lights we had from years before. Holding the lights, I handed them to my dad who climbed the ladder and connected them in the back. Putting the lights up above the garage required an additional step. Years back the hooks used to connect the lights came off and that is why the lights were moved to the back in the first place! To put up the new lights, we needed new hooks. I held the ladder, and Dad first put up the hooks. Then I handed him the lights and held the ladder while he put the lights up. We thought we were finished but discovered that we didn’t have enough lights for the entire length of the garage. The lights were also bunched up at the far-left side. What we did to correct the problem was move the excess lights over providing enough lights to cover the entire length of the garage. We also had a little issue with getting the lights to work. There was a little problem with the lower socket in the set of outlets on the side of the house. To fix the problem, we moved the cord to the upper socket. The cord wasn’t directly plugged into the outlet though, instead we used a device that allows the user to turn the lights on and off with a remote control. The lights were tested a second time and they work. We will wait until Thanksgiving Day, to officially start lighting them every night.
A future project that is planned for this week is a butterfly house. Like the bird house, it will need to be painted, and set up in the yard. Fortunately, they are calling for nice warm weather again this week.
Besides giving bonding time, these projects are teaching me how to do some simple things around the house. They are also teaching me about tools and the different ways they can be used.
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