When I was little, I used to spend a lot of time hanging out with the neighbors who lived in the house below me. They were an elderly couple and I think they liked the company as much as I did. I don’t remember if we talked about anything while swinging on the front porch, but I do remember that one of them spent a lot of time in the garage, tinkering. I thought that tinkering was just something he did, but in recent weeks, I’ve come to realize that the older you get, the more you tinker.
Life was very busy when the kids were still living at home. Everyone was running off to school, sports, and work and when something quit working, it usually caused some level of inconvenience. Regardless of what it was, the goal was to get it fixed or replaced as quickly as possible so we weren’t held up. All of that changed when the nest emptied and life became a little less busy. Don’t get me wrong, things still break down, but now, when something goes out, there is time to try and fix it. In other words, there is time to tinker.
It all began in the spring with the power washer when it started leaking, lost its power, and couldn’t wash. Sounds serious, but after a few days of searching online and a couple of conversations with the power washer man and a local repair shop expert, it was fixed. And it was fixed by the tinkerer for just a few dollars. Quick, easy, and cheap-Now that’s what I call a successful tinker.
The next tinker-worthy problem was the weed eater-the one that quit eating weeds after just a few months of use. While that was a case of ‘you get what you pay for,’ it still required tinkering. I was getting tired of hearing “I need this and I need that” and it was taking a long time so I knew the tinkerer was having problems. Weed eater tinkering finally ended—with buying a new eater. Slow, complicated, and expensive-That’s an unsuccessful tinker. Sometimes, tinkering just doesn’t work out.
Not all tinkering is complicated or mechanical. Sometimes it involves paint, hardware on kitchen cabinets, the closer on screen door, or cracks that need to be filled. No, not that kind of crack-no amount of tinkering could or should fill that.
The reality is that none of these things would have been tinkered with when the nest was full. There just wasn’t time. But now, with the empty nest, there’s time to tinker-just like my elderly neighbor did so many years ago.
Thanks for reading and be sure to #ShareTheLaughter with someone today. Everyday life is #FabulouslyFunny!