Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Wounded Warriors

No, this isn't about soldiers returning from Iraq. It is about those of us who labor daily to complete those honey-dos, to save big bucks (most of the time), and to derive the satisfaction of having done it ourselves. We amass large numbers of tools, large and small, manual and electric, and we go off to war against those who would rip us off and to save ourselves from boredom. We also get bragging rights when things turn out great. We won't talk about those things which go awry.

Recently, I have labored to finish the heated and cooled portion of our basement. The previous owner had it wired, the plumbing stubbed in and all of the framing completed for the walls. My job has been to complete it. I chickened out and got an electrician and plumber to do their parts, but I wanted to do the walls and trim. We decided to used eight inch tongue and grooved pine. It is beautiful, if done right, and although I did it, it has turned out great. I work slow, but I need to. Otherwise, I do bad work and, sometimes, I hurt myself.

We home handymen, are not without the scars of battle. About a month ago, I was building a frame around a drainpipe. The treated pieces of wood that I was using, where the frame contacted the concrete floor, were very seasoned, and, thus, very hard. I was striking a nail very, very firmly, when it buckled. The hammer glanced off the nail head and struck the middle finger of my left hand between the nail and the first joint. It brought a tear to this handyman's eye and blood from my finger. When the feeling finally came back it hurt! Over the course of the next day, the swollen finger turned very purple. There was no feeling in the nail but it did not turn dark.

The finger is still slightly sore and swollen, but I can now fret a string on my mandolin, sort of. I never knew how much I use that finger. I can't tell you how many more times I have hit it, jammed it, and mashed it. It appears that I either broke or crushed it, since it has taken so long to heal.

This project has brought the other usual abrasions, contusions, and bumps and bruises. However, today I experienced another home handyman nightmare. Taking a break from my window trim work (because I cut my last piece of 2 x 6 too short and too narrow), I decided to see if I could correct a poor door installation. While attempting to remove a large nail with my pry bar, I proceeded to stab myself in the chin when the bar slipped. Now I have a sore finger, a band-aid on another (because I accidentally caught it on a jig saw blade. No it wasn't moving, I'm not that dumb) and a large gouge in my chin. It probably needed a stitch or two, but being the stubborn male that I am, no doctor is going to see it.

The adventure will continue. Who knows what danger lurks around the corner of my basement? It is inevitable. We home handymen expect these little distractions, and they give us something to brag about when we get with the guys. They get a laugh and we get to display our treasured injuries. It isn't much, but it is the best we can do.

1 comment:

Diane J Standiford said...

Well, keep the bandaids handy. I got a call at my job w/city power co. from a hysterical woman, "PLEASE! Send someone out my husband is moving the water heater!" Hammering heard in background. LOL (We also had a repair dept.)