2020 has been a good year to own a hardware store. In Australia the most dominant hardware chain is enjoying record sales. With restricted travel, there has never been a better time to begin that new project. I am not by nature a handyman, but years ago a dear friend taught me some basics principals that apply not only to DIY, but to life in general.
Rod Cook, could build, fix, repair and renew anything. By trade he was a fitter and turner. By temperament he was patient and positive. By nature, he was artistic. With unlimited skills and a well-equipped shed, Rod was a DIY master.
As a young couple Wendy and I had bought our first home in the south west of Sydney and it needed a lot of work. Rod helped me with great patience. Of all the skills Rod possessed one incident summed up his approach to problems. He was teaching me how to paint the house. We removed some disgusting wallpaper from a wall in our lounge room when Rod notice a lumpy patch in the wall. He poked around for a while, curious to know why the wall was uneven. Then as he prodded some more, and his hand suddenly pierced the gyprock and sank into the cavity leaving a fist-sized hole in the wall. My heart sank. Buying this old house had stretched our finances to the limit and this hole in the wall seemed to spell financial pain, if not ruin. For me the hole in the wall seemed a mountain beyond my climbing resources. Rod, however, thought it was quite amusing and put in motion a plan to repair it.
Rod returned to his shed and after a small search found a couple of gyprock offcuts. He tidied up the hole in the wall, creating a neat square and then cut a piece of gyprock to match. He then bevelled the edge of the hole in the wall to a 45-degree angle and did the reverse with the offcut. He placed the offcut into the hole and it sat there well supported. A little premix plaster adhesive (that white stuff that dries hard and so you can sand it back) and Rod had repaired the hole in less than an hour.
The obvious lesson from such a story is to find a mate who can fix things and who also has a well-stocked shed. The other lesson that I learned that day is that a good handyman (or woman) is not fazed by a setback – they simply set about trying to find a solution. Rod never worried about what might happen, he simply got on with the job. He always started early, he persevered and dealt with problems, when and if, they arose.
This time last year no one saw the Covid, hole-in-the-world coming. We are still working on a solution. The attitudes of hard work, creativity, perseverance and a positive spirit remain important allies.
not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has
enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
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