Dad proudly announced at every opportunity, “Everything on this farm is held together with baling twine and bubble gum.” I’m not sure if its a trait of all farmers or just Dad but he was a “good enough” kind of guy and that’s the way I learned things.
Getting the broken item fixed quickly (before Mom’s temper exploded) was Goal One. There wasn’t a second goal. After the fix, any tool he used was left where it lay or if he was outside, tossed through the door of the ramshackle shed.
It came as a great shock to me when I moved in with Husband and he pointed out that the job was not complete until everything was put back where it came from. Fast forward twenty years and although I’m not as meticulous as Husband, I’ve come to expect a certain standard of repair and order.
Yesterday I went to the hardware store to buy a five-foot closet rod. When the salesclerk was unable to find what I wanted, he said, “Well…this will probably work.” It was a hundred degrees outside and I really, really did not want to go to the big box store so I picked up the “good enough” and headed to the cash register.
A picture of my childhood bedroom flashed before my eyes. Closet with no door, an unfinished plywood floor and a rod that collapsed if more than three hanging items were attempted.
I did an about-face and returned the good-enough item and, after wandering the store for twenty minutes, found the exact thing I needed.
I could finish by saying Dad would be proud of me – but that would not true. He’d be prouder to have walked into my closet and seen a pair of old shoes attached to the wall with twelve rusty nails supporting the handle of an old broom.