you ever changed something in your house that completely tossed
the normality into chaos?
mean something stupid… something subtle… something so ordinary
that if it hadn’t changed you would never even consider it. And
I don’t necessarily mean change in the manner you might be expecting,
such as painting the walks, buying furniture, or hanging different
curtains. I mean change in all forms and definitions, including
addressing some overdue maintenance or what might be thought of
as the most minor of adjustments.
you ever changed a lightbulb and tossed the normality of the room
few weeks ago, a bulb burned out in our kitchen. Obviously, this
was not a big deal in the grand scope of things. For purposes
of our story however, consider…
course, the four bulbs had been there since we moved in, were
visually the same in appearance, and we didn’t have any bulbs
of that style in any of the bins, closets, cabinets or other
assorted places where extra lightbulbs are stored.
sure… if it had been some sort of big deal, I would have immediately
jumped in the car, headed to a home improvement store (or home
improvement aisle or retail outlet with some bulbs on a shelf),
and picked up four lightbulbs. It simply never became that big
of a priority.
when a second bulb burned out.
whatever reason, we haven’t been in the kitchen all that much
in the past few months, and the kitchen has been virtually vacant
during evening hours. You know, evening hours, when it’s dark
outside and you might find yourself more inclined to turn on the
lights. And even when we were, the unit had four bulbs, with two
coming on at the flick of a switch, and we could see everything
we needed to see.
to the idea of replacing lightbulbs and causing chaos though…
Terry and I were standing there, selecting lightbulbs, and sorting
out our options.
or decorative? Soft White? Bright White? Cool or Daylight or…
yeah… you get the idea.
made our selections, eventually arrived back at our home, and
I opened the package and switched out all four lightbulbs, replacing
the old with new.
changes… cue the music… chaos begins.
a couple of weeks with reduced lighting in the room, united with
changing the color or wattage equivalents or whatever measures
lightbulbs are using these days, the room was brighter and different.
a good different. Or, at least an acceptable different. And eventually,
we’ll get used to it and things will no long seem different. (Until
one of those bulbs burn out, all of the spares in the second package
we bought have been used elsewhere, and we hop back on the merry-go-round.)
like this happen all the time around a house. Projects and work
and repairs that may or may not need to be done, with decisions
involved in the process. And… forgive the saying but allow the
intent… when finished they shine a new light on some things.
and I own a van. It’s old. It’s well used. And late last October,
the lift support struts (or whatever fancy, technical name they
have) for the rear gate decided they had been through enough.
actually happened without warning. They just failed one day. And
because some guy named Murphy loves such delights, they failed
just as I was preparing to load the van at the start of a day
filled with craft fair activities.
was speaking to a couple of people that weekend and they were
filled with all sorts of helpful advice. Lift supports are tricky
to replace. Lift supports are costly to replace. This person went
through this finding gate struts. That person went through that
with their mechanic. Another person was quoted thousands by the
and that and another and yikes. Scary stuff. All with just enough
of a hint of truth or familiarity that the advice made sense.
vehicle… well used vehicle… no time in craft fair season to drop
it off and not have it available for an extended time vehicle…
I grabbed a couple of 2x4s to brace the gate open and bravely
ventured into November and December with broken rear tailgate
lift support struts.
the craft fairs disappeared into the rearview mirror, I had a
bit of time, and managed to look into the process and cost for
replacing lift supports on a van. (Quick tip: You can find a ton
of stuff on YouTube.) And there on the screen was my answer… wait…
come on… THAT’S IT?
the process of ordering the parts… which is another story, for
another time… the entire replacement process involved the whopping
investment of about ten minutes of work. Pretty much literally
spent more time getting a couple of tools to start and cleaning
up after than I did on the actual work of replacing both struts.
Plus, I even had the cash to pay for the parts in my wallet. It
was not expensive.
it was one of the most emotionally disturbing efforts I’ve ever
turned in. Why disturbing? Well… I already told you. On one hand,
it was done and I took care of it. Van fixed… cue camera capturing
me emerging from the garage with my hands rubbing on a towel while
taking a deep breath acknowledging the completion of a job well
done. And on the other… yeah…
project was beyond easy, affordable, and yet I had spent more
than two months fighting with and struggling against and working
around a broken tailgate with expectations of difficult and pricey.
More than two months of frustrations because I couldn’t find ten
minutes for research and another ten minutes for repairs.
say at times that ignorance is bliss, and in many ways, it’s true.
I’ve also heard that the only constant is change. Amazingly, lifting
the veil on either… looking around and investigating things in
the desire to be just slightly less ignorant… putting in the time
to fix something with the hopes of bringing it from where it is
back to where it was… requires adjustments. And sometimes, those
adjustments are frustrating... sometimes, chaotic.
of the time, at least for us, they’re not boring.