A Typical Morning in the Life of an old Jewell

They came yesterday afternoon. Two of them. They call them wand tilters.

We have replaced about one quarter of our blinds over twenty-seven years. The wand tilters on the old ones are nearly all broken. The mechanism still works, sort of, but the wand connector thingie (notice my expert technical jargon) has broken and wands, a critical part, can’t be attached.

So we decided to try out two new wand tilters before ordering more.

This morning, right after breakfast, i  took to the replacement task. With my penchant for screwing tasks up initially, i figured it would take somewhere between ten minutes to four hours. As usual, i planned ten minutes. i figured i would tackle the two of the smallest blinds, the four small windows in our living room/dining room for ease of handling. While Maureen was getting ready to go to yoga — i know, i know, what do you do to get ready for yoga? — i took down the smallest blind, replaced the part, rehung the blind and the valence.

The first mistake. i showed it to Maureen. She was thrilled. As i was going to take down the next small blind, she stopped me.

“Why don’t we do one of the larger ones in the family room? They are the ones i have the most trouble with and they’ve got a pull-down problem too,” she said.

Having been married to her going on thirty-five years, i correctly did not take this comment as a question and explanation. i took it as a direct, nonnegotiable order. Of course, in spite of my whining and making fun, i was right.

She left for yoga. i took on the big blind in the family room. Since i now had some realistic expectations on the time of repair, i figured 15 minutes. Max.

But you see, i forgot about the valence. The valence is among eleven my folks made. From 1985 until 2001 (my father was 87, my mother 84 on their last cross country trip in their RV), Jimmy and Estelle Jewell would drive out to miss the kind of weather the east is having now. They stayed in a nearby RV park and come over every day. They would work on projects, enjoy their granddaughter (as they enjoyed all children, grand, great grand, or simply children), Mother would cook meals, and we would play bridge after supper until they went back to their RV park, sometimes taking Sarah for the night.

And the projects? Well, Daddy constructed the framework for the back yard patio, laid the the tile in the courtyard, erected the trellis outside our bedroom, built a desk out of scrap lumber for Sarah, made and hung the shelves in Sarah’s bedroom. Mother cut and sewed the fabric which he installed on the dining room chairs. And then she cut and sewed the fabric for the eleven valences in the kitchen, the family room, and the hallway windows.

These valences are a piece of art. They are also constructed to remain intact through Armageddon.

That’s not a problem. Taking them down is a problem. Because i have to undo all of the securing mechanisms my father put in place. This is not a small thing.

It did not help that the stapler gun and the ratchet wrench broke during breakdown and re-installation, that a support frame had to be relocated, and somewhere around 489 tools had to be checked to see if they would work best.

The guilty blind and its indestructible valence.

So the quarter hour project was crammed into about four. Working out, writing on my book, going to the driving range, and reading all went away this morning. Blind mechanism replacement, you see.

But this afternoon, we have working blind wand tilters with wands installed in two blinds. The valence for one is back in place.

The bad news i have just ordered 15 more wand tilters. They will arrive tomorrow or Saturday. i now know what i will be doing all weekend.

i took a NORP..

6 thoughts on “A Typical Morning in the Life of an old Jewell

  1. You poor bastard. Did you learn nothing from the fiasco of hanging your Noel sign over the garage? NOTHING takes 15 minutes.

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