master builder

July 19, 2011


It was a moment to make Do-It-Yourselfers everywhere proud. Being the extreme DIY-er that he is, PaCharley was determined to install the necessary new window without outside help. So yesterday we took the measurements, intending to order the proper size this morning, in advance of an anticipated 10-day ordering span. But this morning, he was amazed to learn that the shop actually had the needed size in stock. So a quick pulling out of the old one ensued, and a speedy rallying of the “troops.” This afternoon we stood there, PaCharley on the left side, my great uncle on the right, my grandmother on the inside, and me on the outside. “I hope it’s the right size,” PaCharley commented. “Charley,” GramBea scolded, “don’t you dare say that–of course it’s the right size!” We figured out logistics as best as we could, hefted that window up, and eased it into position. It seemed to fit. GramBea sighed audibly. PaCharley grunted in satisfaction and grabbed the leveler, showing us all the centered bubble. “But, PaCharley,” I interjected, “it’s level side to side, sure–but not top to bottom. Turn it on its side.” I was right, having noticed the slant towards my feet when I looked down. Sure enough, the leveler betrayed the uneven settling of the window. We stared at each other with looks of “What now?” clearly running though our heat-muddled minds. PaCharley then offered that he could probably get the extra beam out from the bottom of the frame. We all saw then that an added beam was slid in there. With the crowbar and a hammer, he slid the beam out to reveal the original slot for a window to sit in. I audibly wondered why an extra beam had been there to begin with. PaCharley shrugged in that way he does when there’s no point explaining all the reasoning behind his modus operandi. Sometimes, what works just, well, works.
At any rate, we now had renewed hope that the window would slide all the way in. We paused for a breath, counted out a lift, and hoisted that window on up again. It slid in beautifully. “Quick,” GramBea hollered, “Screw it in!” We were all eager to see the window secured in place by this point. So now it sets, levelly screwed in . . . a few telltale smudges and handprints from the hands and heads involved in the activity. But even those proud “battle scars” will soon be gone and it will be just another normal front porch window.
Admiring our handiwork then, GramBea turned to me. “I can’t believe you knew what the problem was!” “Well,” PaCharley commented, “she does have a Masters degree.” GramBea huffed, “Sure, but not in house-building!” We all laughed then, and returned to admiring that “normal” window.

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One Response to “master builder”

  1. Kim said

    Well done! Isn’t it amazing what we are able to do, and what skills come to light when we are open new and different experiences in our lives!

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