Wanted: Slow-minded man with money or cash-strapped, talented handyman

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By Lorrie Kinkade

I may be a domestic goddess, but does that mean I have to be the female equivalent of Bob Vila?

My latest escapade in home repair began at 9:30 last Saturday morning. After leisurely crawling from my comfy bed, I uncharacteristically decided to immediately shower and begin a full day of errands. To my chagrin, only lukewarm water flowed from the pipes when I turned the knob labeled “hot.”

Although my first thought was that hard water had corroded and fried the element that creates the hot water I so craved, a quick inspection of the water heater told me something worse had occurred.

Upon removal of the small difficult-to-reach panel of the heater, I was simply delighted (note the sarcasm here) to discover the wires leading from the wall to the element were black and crusty, evidence of the heat/flame that melted the visible end of the element. Two tarnished screws were all that remained.

After watching blue sparks shoot from the remains, I dashed to the breaker box and killed power throughout the house. You see, my fear of electrocution and fire far outweighed my need for light, air conditioning or a cold fridge to keep the beer in.

Returning to the heater, I examined the damage, devised a plan, turned electric on to other parts of the house and headed out to pick up necessary replacement parts and tools.

First I stopped at the hardware store for a new element. Standing in line still wearing my pajamas, my unwashed hair in complete disarray, I tried to keep a positive outlook. Sure this repair was going to be a bit more complicated than the usual changing of the element, but at least it happened on a day I didn’t have to hurry off to work.

Next, I drove to my brother-in-law’s Henry County home to borrow tools necessary to tackle this job, as my tool chest is as empty as my mind most days. Although he has more tools than the typical hardware store, his system of organization left me empty-handed and headed to my uncle’s home a few miles away.

A short time later, tools in hand, I arrived back home to begin work.

Roughly an hour later, the main electric breaker was flipped again, a 3-ft. square of flooring had been removed from my kitchen, my bathroom sink was lying in the shower, tools were scattered throughout the kitchen and my dad was standing over me trying to offer advice and assistance. Please keep in mind, my father is not a direct descendant of Bob Vila either, but he does provide a fair amount of comic relief during such occasions.

After a substantial amount of laughing and cussing, I finally had the job completed. Or so I thought. It seems I forgot to move the sink from the shower and the disconnected water lines made a lovely fountain after I dropped back into the crawlspace and turned the handle releasing water into the lines.

A few minutes later, with the sink now firmly in place, I once again crawled under the floor, turned the knob and was thrilled to hear the water heater filling. Checking for leaks and finding none, I happily headed for the breaker box only to discover flipping the main switch did absolutely nothing. Not only did the bathroom remain dark, the refrigerator was silent and the television screen was blank. Two hours later, the electrician had come and gone and I continued the day’s mantra that may have saved what little sanity I have left.

“I need a rich husband! Or a poor one who can fix stuff!”

Let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger and don’t enjoy learning a new trade every time something breaks around my house.

I have always sought the cute guy who made me laugh and didn’t have a gaggle of small children, but there comes a time in a woman’s life when she has to set new guidelines for a prospective mate.

My next ex-husband (I’m very optimistic when it comes to relationships) shall be a man who can fix stuff around the house. That might mean he’s poor but has the skills to hang drywall, fix a roof leak, replace water lines and complete electrical work. Or it could mean he wears shoes with Velcro closures because he doesn’t have the sense to tie the laces but he does have sufficient cash to pay someone else for the home repairs.

Keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck that my Mr. Fix-it comes along before the next calamity at my place results in my drowning death, electrocution or a broken neck from a fall from the roof.

After all, marriage is always better than a fatal accident. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told.