Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ta Da

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that this morning I went back and retrieved the washers that I used in the wrong place and put them in the right place. I am borderline obsessive compulsive in some ways and I knew it would bug me until I corrected my boo boo. Better to spend the extra time to do it right than to feel displeasure every time I looked at it because I knew I had done it wrong.

I am grateful to the genes I inherited on my maternal side. My grandfather Wilcoxen, bless him, was an avid builder of things that fell down in a short period of time. He added onto the core of a house they bought for retirement and a few years back, the only thing that was still structurally sound was the core of the house he started with. But he was enthusiastic and he enjoyed himself and that's what counts.

My father was similarly inept when it came to mechanics or carpentry. I can remember back when I was in college and stopped for gas at the Texaco in downtown Bastrop and agreed to have my oil checked (when was the last time anybody offered to do that?). B.J., the owner, asked me just how long it had been since I had had an oil change. I was clueless that such a thing even existed and apparently my father wasn't far behind. B.J. informed me that I was driving around on sludge and thereafter always looked at me like I was a few bricks shy a load.

So my ability to puzzle out things mechanical and computerical and my ability to assemble a pile of parts into a complete whole that actually looks like it should at the end I attribute to the genes inherited on my Hodge side. To be more specific, I suspect I inherited this ability from my Mason line. My grandmother Lucy was a self-sufficient soul who could do just about anything she set out to do and if she didn't have the necessary parts, she improvised. She was probably also the source of my affinity for knitting and crochet, which she probably inherited from her own grandmother, Mary Harworth Mason, an accomplished weaver.

We are all a conglomeration of abilities or inabilities passed down from generation to generation. We sometimes overcome our shortcomings (I get oil changes religiously every 5000 miles), but it always helps to have some innate talent to work with. And sometimes it just helps to recognize where you are lacking and pay someone else to do it. That's why I bribed Mother's health worker to make a couple of throw pillows for me this past week. If I've learned anything in my 50+ years, it is to keep a large distance between me and a sewing machine.

So, here's to my grandparents Wilcoxen who inspired me to acquire this neat glider, and here's to my grandparents Hodge who gave me the ability to construct it.


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