Mr. Ken, Mr. Fix It – part one

Posted on April 28, 2021


tool guy

Hello there! This is Nancy’s dear husband, Mr. Ken, sitting in for Nancy for a few weeks as she recuperates from her recent shoulder surgery to repair an injured rotator cuff. She was thrilled when I offered to be a guest blogger for a few weeks until she is able pound out her own blogs once more.

I know that Nancy has mentioned many times about my handyman abilities around our house and I thought this would be a great topic for my first guest blog. I really love doing my do-it-yourself (DIY) projects around the house! I find that once the job is done just knowing I did it myself gives me a sense of accomplishment that lasts and lasts. In this blog I want to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with you and, hopefully, get some hesitant folks out there to give it a go yourself!

My story begins back in NJ when my parents bought their first house – a genuine fixer upper. My dad was comfortable doing this as he was the quintessential DIY. He could fix anything. Carpentry, plumbing, electrical, automotive, you name it. Growing up, I watched him redo bathrooms, rewire / add electrical circuits, enclose porches and on and on. I assumed that this was the way it was in most other households too. You didn’t hire someone, you did it yourself.

So my dad was a huge role model for me. While he didn’t specifically show me how to do stuff, and sadly he died when I was in high school, he did instill in me the confidence to believe that I could tackle almost any project if I wanted to. Today it makes me happy to know that this part of my dad is still alive and well in me and my two brothers, who are also very handy.

I guess you could say that my early experiences with DIY jobs were baptism under fire. After my dad died we assumed his role of the home repairman as best we could. As things wore out / broke in our old family house, we just figured out what needed to be done and did it. It helped that we inherited some strong spatial abilities from my dad so we could look at something and figure out how to replace it. For example, we did this when the front and rear steps rotted out and the old stall shower in the basement rusted to pieces. We took a deep breath and forged ahead and it turned out surprisingly well!

While I had many early successes with my DIY projects, as time went by and I wanted to tackle more involved jobs like home wiring, appliance repairs, etc. I realized I needed some education to learn how to do this. In part two I’ll explain the different ways I learned how to do more complex, specialized repairs.

What DIY stories would you like to share? I’d enjoy hearing about them!