I want to be that Papaw who can fix anything. I’m not, but luckily, I’m in the middle of that several year span in my grandchildren’s lives where they seem to think I can fix anything.
Today I returned home from my work as a low-level government functionary where I labor at tasks that rarely result in a satisfactory result and where I seldom seem to fix anything. With an eye to salvaging something of the day, I set to cleaning up the backyard, putting away the toys scattered during this past weekend’s visit. There in the lawn lay the broken end of a small scoop shovel, like the kind kids play with at the beach. I remember seeing it get broken Sunday afternoon and I remember calling Mrs. Beer Rant on her cell phone to ask if she’d please try to find another beach shovel during her shopping trip. True to form, Grandma found not just a replacement toy shovel; she found an indoor/outdoor soccer set and a toy barbecue grill. She’s a terrific grandma.
So here I stood this afternoon with the working end of a broken toy shovel. This, I can fix. I rounded up a short section of plastic irrigation hose and a tiny carriage style bolt with its appropriate little nut. I retired to what passes for a workbench in my garage with a freshly poured glass of Deschutes Obsidian Stout, one of my favorite beers.
In a minute or two the little shovel was serviceable again and with the tool boxes put away and the bench light turned off, I took the remains of my Obsidian Stout and flopped down at the kitchen table to sort the day’s mail, satisfied in a (small) job well done and satisfied in my choice of beer.
Tomorrow morning I’ll get up at 3:30 and head back in to work. I’ll spin my wheels for a ten or eleven hour shift and then head home where I can do some real good. All the while, I’ll know that in just a few days, the grandkids will return and the toy shovels will come back out and we’ll get down to the real business at hand. And I think those little rascals will be tickled pink to see the newly repaired shovel. Grandkids appreciate the little things you do for them.
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