We have a house that's of age. Unlike people who become of age, a house becoming of age is nothing to celebrate. It means that things naturally break down, one after another. Closet doors come off their tracks and flap in the virtual wind of the indoors. Handles to microwave doors break off. Dishwashers make alarmingly loud noises and refuse to clean thoroughly, leaving particles of dried rice and whatever cereal you had for breakfast on bowls and plates. Patio lights go dark, even with new bulbs installed. Furnaces become not just inefficient, but unsafe.
I have a secret weapon to combat the most annoying of breakdowns--Jay, the Appliance Repair Man. While he doesn't call me by my first name, he knows me by sight. Jay showed up at the door this week, to install new parts for our dishwasher that had been part of a recall. "Use of Rinse-Aid causes electrical short-circuit, resulting in fire." It's not a headline that CNN or the Denver Post or even the Boulder Daily Camera would use. But it's one that the manufacturer of our dishwasher blasted in a letter to us last month.
As Jay entered the house, he remembered my face. "Oh yes, I condemned your dryer a few years ago." Yep, that was me with the wet laundry.
Jay condemned my old dishwasher before that. And left me voicemail when I called about the dishwasher not getting things clean ("A teaspoon of Tang and a rinse cycle and call me in the morning.")
Today was a freebie and I got my money's worth--three times over. Jay installed new wiring, insulation, gasket, and dishwasher door. He also fixed my stove top knobs that have been loose for the last few years (metal inserts got misplaced over the years.) Best of all, he figured out how to turn my refrigerator light back on. My family had been rummaging through the fridge for the last two years in the dark, not knowing if the food container held lasagna or boiled eggs, until it reached the light of day.
There is something miraculous that happens when small, chronic problems get fixed. The miracle is not in the fixing. It is in the receiving. Having two problems fixed in one day leaves me on top of the world, grateful for Jay's knowledge about appliances and talent for tinkering until the job gets done.
If I can feel this good about light coming into my fridge and stove top knobs that fit, what else could I fix in my life?