It’s an auditory night. One house to the east a dedicated 12-year-old musician practices her violin. Two houses to the east a 16-year-old neighbor shoots hoops and develops his dribble in the concrete driveway. These beautiful young people are building skills, passions and futures!


At my house, a 63-year-old is fixing things. Full disclosure: if the auditory elements of this house on this night were included in this blog, there might be a wee teeny sprinkle of profanity.


Okay, I made that part up. When humanly possible I view inconveniences and downright disasters as opportunities to improve things, or, worst case scenario, as teachable moments.


Please do not impose your teachable moment on us.


No way, Lily. You and 9 live in the mind; the things I’m fixing are material and physical in nature.


This wave of fixing things started off well. Lately I’ve been gritting my teeth whenever I need to work in my office. The space felt compressing and miserable! At last the Aha! Moment arrived: the fix was a simple rearrangement of furniture and a thorough cleaning! Et Voilà:


Fixing things: a lighter, brighter workspace!



This marvel of improved space, light and cleanliness happened last weekend. This week, the carpenter who’d given me a bid to replace some damaged storage closet doors in the basement- –


The particle board ones the cats sprayed on?




The same. He gave me a bid at the end of August and at last has me on his schedule. The damaged doors were hauled away on Wednesday. He is making the new ones in his shop and will return next week to install them.


Fall means it’s time for the HVAC company to do a seasonal maintenance check on fireplace, hot water heater and furnace (all powered by natural gas). The duo dispatched for this job mentioned a slight odor of gas in my kitchen- –


Couldn’t you smell it, too?


Once I got my nose down by the stove top burners I could, 9. I’m pretty sure the HVAC guys have noses that are better tuned in to those kinds of things than the noses of average citizens. A friend who was over recently had noticed a whiff of it, too. I called my natural gas provider for a gas leak check and they IMMEDIATELY sent out a tech to make an assessment. Turns out there was a small leak that was causing a small buildup of gas in the oven. In short, we’ve been “red tagged”:


Fixing things: the notorious red-tagged stove!



Wow, that looks scary!


In view of rapidly approaching Halloween I’ll rebrand it as “seasonal.” Fortunately the stove has its own gas shutoff valve so I will still have hot water and my main heat source while waiting for the stove to be repaired. While I wait to hear back from the appliance repair company I am brushing up on microwave cooking and a recipe for “Overnight Oatmeal” that uses the refrigerator instead of the stove.


What if it takes a while to get the stove repaired?


If that happens, Lily, I’ll invest in a countertop electric burner.


This leaves me with (what I hope is) the last thing that needs fixing this week. My nose:


Fixing things: soon to get the lowdown on my Rudolph-red nose!




I agree, 9, and it’s been like this for several days. It’s getting to be an obsession, studying it in the mirror through my most powerful magnifiers, researching what it might be online- –


Bad idea.


You said it, Lily. All that’s accomplished is sending my heart rate into what Fitbit calls the “calorie burn” zone. In just a couple hours the Urgent Care facility will open and I will initiate the nose fixing process.


Fixing things. And when I’m done with this round, maybe I can get back to building skills, passions and the future like my young neighbors.


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