I've talked about how much I miss my Dad since he passed away a year ago. (Boy, it doesn't seem possible it's a year already.) Besides missing him for his advice and just plain company, I miss him because he could fix anything. No lying!
In fact, just before he went into the hospital in July 2009, he fixed the cord on my electric kettle. (It turned out it wasn't just the cord that was broken.) At first he said (in the words of his instructor at the Portsmouth Dockyard, and in a heavy Manchester accent), "It's nooo good. Ya might just as well chuck it away." But then he thought on it for an hour or two and figured out how to make it work again.
We fixed a few things together, too. When I bought my first house, he gutted most of it and rebuilt it himself, adding French drains, and rewiring it, too. Um...I was smaller than him, so I got to crawl around in the boiling hot attic which was full of dead wasps. That was a fun time. (NOT!)
At the end of this summer, my fan died. One day it worked fine, the next day it was pushing up daisies. Somehow I didn't have the heart to throw it away. But, lately I've been in a "if-you-haven't-used-it-in-a year (or longer) it's-time-to-get-rid-of-it" mood, so yesterday it got walked to the curb for the trash men.
Off I went grocery shopping. But all the while I was picking stuff like kitty snacks and Halloween candy from the shelves, I was thinking about how much I loved my blue fan.
Back I came. And there sat my fan.
I bought it just after I moved into my first house. (See above for description of the attic--no, not the wasp part, the boiling hot part.) It was $25 at K-Mart and it worked great. It worked so great, I went back a month later to get another one and they didn't have the same model, but I bought one anyway. It has long since gone to fan heaven.
My Dad would never have tossed out a useful item without trying to fix it first. So, in view of all my neighbors, I retrieved my fan from the trash and brought it back inside. As I suspected, it wasn't broken at all. But it had been living near our forced-air heat run for the last 17 years and it was full of dust. (Ick--we're breathing in all that crap all winter? Oy!)
With just the first shot with baby suck (mini shop vac), it started to run again, but then I took the back off and really gave it a good clean with vacuum, compressed air, and a dust cloth. Now it runs like new.
All the time I was cleaning it I felt like my Dad was standing behind me giving me advice. And best of all--I got my beloved fan back. (Just in time to retire it for the winter. Oh well, you can't win them all, eh?)
Do you try to fix broken items?