It is a simple pleasure to feel handy around the house. In these days when just about anything can be farmed out, it’s nice to do-it-yourself now and then, to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in a job well-done. We’ve occasionally done things around the house. In our old townhouse, Kelly has repaired drywall, installed a ceiling fan, and replaced wall outlets. I painted rooms, fixed toilets, and tended the landscaping. Our new house–not really new anymore, since we’ve been here over two years now–is older than the townhouse, but had been completely updated much more recently. There hasn’t been much to do. Until an opportunity came up last week.
Our microwave oven died back in July. I would have said this is the first time a microwave has ever died on me, but I would be wrong. We kept telling ourselves we needed to replace it, but neither of us was in the mood to look for replacement. We muddled along without a microwave for six week, until finally, last week, we decided to head over to Home Depot and pick up a new one. It’s an “over-the-counter” microwave, we decided we’d do the whole thing ourselves, rather than have someone come out and remove the old one and install the new one for us.
Late one afternoon, we started the work. I got the old microwave unmounted, and then fought with the mountings already in the wall to get those off. They didn’t match the new microwave. I measured and identified places to drill. My old drill wasn’t really up to the task, and much of the “drilling” was improvised with alternative tools. Which meant it took longer. Eventually (after borrowing a much better drill from a neighbor) I got things squared away and Kelly helped me life the new microwave into place, and held it while I tightened the bolts. We plugged in the new device and it turned on. We tested it out, and it worked. I put in a request with the city to come pick up the old microwave, cleared away all the debris and boxes. Our new microwave was installed. It only took four hours.
The following morning, my entire body was sore. My arms were sore. My shoulders were sore. The palms of my hands were sore. The day after that was even worse. It dimmed the achievement of getting the microwave installed in the first place. The lesson, I decided, was that you have to pick your battles. Fixing a toilet is a battle that is simple enough to be worth tackling. As for replacing the microwave: I should have paid the fee to have professionals do it. My body would have thanked me for it.
On Thursday, during trash collection, the city came by to pick up the microwave, but they were too late. Although it was there first thing in the morning when I went for my walk, it was gone by the time the city came around to pick it up. Someone is now the proud owner of a completely dead microwave.
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