Thursday, June 27, 2013

Battle of the Screws: A Beautiful Tale of a Fixing and Bonding.....hahahaha!

"We're going outside to fix the gate to the chicken coop and the fence the horses broke," I told my youngest son. "And I'm bringing my iPhone with for taking pictures of our progress so I can write a blog about it."

Yep. That's what I told the boy who had slept in until almost noon. I suppose I could've woke him up hours before, but, every so often, a mother likes to have some extra peace in the house. Yesterday was one of those days. I ate breakfast ALONE. I sipped my coffee ALONE. I unsubscribed from unwanted emails ALONE, and I browsed through Pinterest ALONE. Ahhhh....the peace.

Now, it's not my fault that we headed out to work at the hottest part of the most humid day we've had so far. I mean, he could've been up earlier, right? But when we both walked outside, the blast of heat almost knocked us right back on our behinds (preferably on a couch in the wonderfully air-conditioned house).

I had told him to grab the power screw driver and fix the little white gate leading to the chicken coop, which, by the way, I'm pretty sure he is responsible for breaking in the first place. It was a simple task. All he needed to do was take out the four existing screws and screw them into a new location, since the wood had rotted around their current location. After hearing him make multiple runs from the workshop to the coop on his four-wheeler, and after hearing the sound of a hammer, I decided to check in with him.

"It's not gonna work," he said quickly. "We'll have to let Dad fix it."

If you're a parent, you'll recognize this as an excuse for a 12-year-old boy to get out of work.

"Why?" I asked. "What's wrong?"

"The screws have nowhere to put the screwdriver. They have flat heads like a nail," he answered.

The third board from the left is now secure!
Determined to make this boy work, I walked over to check out this rare type of flat-headed screw. I had purchased this little gate at a wonderful local antique shop in town called The Junk Asylum, and it had been painted with a nice fresh coat of white paint. The screws had collected a fair amount of the paint, giving them the appearance of being filled in. So after a small amount of chiseling, the screw was exposed and we made the repair.

Next on our list was to repair the two boards the horses had broken. I assume this happened while they were all huddled together swatting at the excessive amount of flies that have recently taken over the acreage. In any case, we needed two 1x6 boards that were eight feet long.

Finding the boards was easy. I had my helper measure out the correct length.

"Measure twice," I told him. "Cut once."

Cutting them with the circular saw was easy too.

Carrying them to the barn was easy. (Well, my helper did have a small setback here as he claimed a board suddenly nailed his hip bone, causing him to drop to the ground. This may have been an attempt to rest.)

What was surprisingly difficult was identifying which screwdriver tip needed to be put into the drill. On those two measly boards, THREE different types of screws had been used. THREE! A few required a phillips; I can handle that. But suddenly, there are screws with squares and screws with stars? It was like a kindergarten matching game for adult carpenters! Can you imagine how long it took me to find the square and star attachments in just the right size? Ugh!

Just what is the purpose of this?
I'm clearly not ready for new shapes.

Two new boards and one new headache
By now, we were both sweaty and short-fused. The horses were trying to help us, and if we were really on task, the flies would bite our arms and legs, causing us to drop a screw or board. My son claimed he had allergies, and the grand vision I had of us happily working together to fix things had quickly turned into the reality that kids don't naturally want to work very hard.

I had to laugh at what my son said when I told him we were finished with our job.

"It actually was kinda fun fixing stuff," he said as he smiled and rode quickly away on his four-wheeler.

I suppose, in a way, it really was fun. :)

P.S. Notice how there are no pictures of us working. There's a reason for that; we weren't really in the mood for photo ops. LOL

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