Hello again from a Kozy place!
Because of my dad, I grew up believing that all men should
be able to fix or build just about anything. Using only common sense and a few
tools, Dad could throw together a deck, build a shoe rack, knock out a wall,
and much more – with minimal trips to the emergency room. And he was not an
anomaly; most folks I knew growing up were fairly handy around the house.
I bring up this subject because the Prez and I have decided
to go into the Handy Man business. How good is business? Well, we put the ad in
the paper last week and already we have far too many jobs. The phone will not
stop ringing. It has gotten to the point where I now tell people that it will
be at least two weeks before we can even get around to give them a quote! All
this in a week. People are desperate for help, no one has so much as even
questioned our $350 daily fee for labour yet – we could probably ask more I am
certain. Many of the calls are for jobs as simple as fixing a leaky faucet or
True, I am no whiz around the work bench. My first foray
into the Do-It-Yourself Zone was when The Ex and I decided to renovate our
living room. I thought I’d be a big help by tackling a few of the jobs on my
day off…all by myself. Ex had explained to me that before we could paint we
needed to do a little prep and this included hammering down any nails that were
pulling away on the walls and adding some new nails to tighten up the drywall
to the studs. With hammer and nails in hand, I cheerfully set about the task of
fortifying our castle walls! I was not cheerful for long. Ex had demonstrated
the nailing technique to me and it seemed to be so easy yet here I was with almost a half dozen bent and disfigured
nails jutting out of the wall. Frustrated and cranky I called up Ex at work to
ask him what I was doing so wrong. My first clue was the utter confusion in his
voice when he said, “What nails??? I
haven’t bought the nails yet!” Turns out the railroad tie sized nails I’d
dug up in the garage were not quite the size needed for the job; who knew?
It’s the thought that counts right?
Well, I’d like to think I’ve improved a little since then…
but I haven’t really. The expression on my face while I’m watching the Prez
effortlessly build or repair something must be similar to the face of a caveman
if you traveled back in time, popped open a laptop and started surfing the
internet with him. I am perplexed and awestruck by people who know a) how to
fix things b) which tools to use and c) are able to use those tools with a
modicum of dexterity. And I’m not alone. I am not the only Handy-capped person
In seven days we have been thanked innumerable times for
bringing our Handy-ness to those in need.
**Let me just make something perfectly clear here – Prez is
the Handy Person. I do all the paperwork, make appointments, keep us organized,
run errands, pass tools, help lift and support things, clean up, and try to
follow instructions. Although I have been using the wet saw to cut tiles which
is very exciting! Also, I still have all fingers and thumbs, that’s a good
The relationship between customer and Handy Person is one of
intimacy and trust. When someone lets you, a complete stranger carrying sharp
cutting implements and hammers, into their home, they are saying, “I am so deeply in need of help that I will
invite deadly tool wielding strangers into my home and even offer them
refreshments!” Add to this the fact that they are going to bare their most
hideous flaws to you, “Look, I have an
old and disgusting linoleum floor, please be kind”, and you can see very
clearly that the Handy Person holds an almost god-like position in our society.
The homes we have been in and the people who live in them
have been the highlight of the job, so far, for me. Friendly, Fijian Mr.Hafiz
was our very first customer. He lamented his small backyard garden (the one he
had in Fiji was huge but he and his wife wanted to live closer to their children who moved from Fiji to Surrey
(someone please explain this to me!). His sundeck roof needed replacing and so
Prez braved some rickety heights to do so.
Helen is glad to be divorced. Her husband of many years was
a drunk, a druggie and a bum. Tears came to her eyes as she told of how happy
she was to have finally woken up and stepped off the hamster wheel. She was so
pleased that we were there to help organize her garage and set up shelving for
her just like she had in her old house.
Gail likes bears. She likes bears a lot. She has hundreds of
them in a glass display cabinet. Come to think of it, Gail had a lot of
everything, everywhere, and a thermostat that seemed to be locked at Face of
the Sun Degrees Celsius. Prez and I sweated through a re-tiling job in her
kitchen while simultaneously trying to avoid lung cancer from her husband and
brother’s second hand smoke. Oh yes, and Dan, her husband, likes to have a
glass of rum each day around three or four
o’clock – just a little fact for you.
We delivered good and bad news to Barbara. Good – we were
able to raise her cabinets quickly and easily. Bad – the problem with the door
on her very expensive new fridge is that someone obviously dropped it during
shipping and the bottom is smashed in and un-fixable. Ouch!
Adil’s sister will have a lovely engagement party now that
the deck is fixed. The only thing holding it up was wishful thinking. Note: it
rains a lot in BC and putting un-treated wood support posts directly into the
dirt is like building your house out of sugar – it may seem like a good idea at
the time but after enough rain you will have nothing left.
We loved the giant, organic apples Lise gave us as a snack.
She has a leopard print bedspread, a Yorkshire terrier named Baboo, and a
husband who is so quiet he may possibly be the quietest person I’ve ever met.
Shirley was scary. “You
come here, look at this! Tell me how fix this! I going to cut down that stupid,
stupid plant, it’s moisting all the wood!”
I guess the only drawback to all this work is that I have
once again fallen behind on my beloved Chronicles. Well, a girl’s gotta eat.
And speaking of eating, one of the perks of living below
Titanium Chef Kozak is being within prime sampling distance of his many
culinary creations. Yum. Yep, we’re pretty cozy in our Kozy place or as I like
to call it our “home away from Home Depot”.
Until next week (well, hopefully this Saturday!), I hope
this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!