The Wise Novelist

The McCaffrey Way

Okay, so my front door knob has been giving me trouble recently. (No, those are not my scratches on the door, those are Lisa’s. And no, that is not a euphemism.)

Anyway, so yesterday the front door handle finally reached FUBAR level, and I couldn’t open it no matter how hard I turned or jiggled it. And I think Lisa was enjoying herself way too much by telling me to throw my shoulder against it. I realized after the third attempt that the door opens inward.

So, exiting through my garage, I went off to Home Depot and picked up a new lock and door handle kit.

As always, the project took much longer than necessary to complete – hours – after multiple times walking down through the muck in the back to the workshop to get each tool I forgot to bring with me the prior trip. When it was all said and done, I proudly gazed up the accomplishment, with a satisfied grin.

That opening photo was taken at the moment I thought I was done.

But when I went to throw the bolt from the inside, it would not turn. Now it definitely turned with the key from outside. And it turned from inside, when the key was still in the lock outside. But once I removed that key. Jam. Fuck!

I took it apart and put it back together six times, and each time the same result.

I was so desperate, I even read the directions.

Nothing would fix it. The demon door was mocking me.

I could hear Lisa and Blue both snickering from the living room.

Merlin, my door knocker, was too embarrased to look me in the eye.

So, reaching into my over six decades of experience, and appying an age old McCaffrey trick, I inserted the lock up side down. Voila.

It now works like a charm with both outdoor key and inside lever.

Now I know that choice would drive another person crazy. Just seeing the spanking new lock upside down would make a locksmith weep. But in a house where the hot and cold sink knobs are often on the wrong side of the sink, but otherwise work wonderfully, you just learn to take the Zen approach to home repairs and go with it. It’s the results that count. Functionality over form. The McCaffrey way.

My writing reflects this anomaly.

Claire, who had been watching this spectacle from her spot just behind Jack the Spruce in the front property, understood.

She even voiced her approval, after I bribed her with a vigorous ear rub.
Honey, on the other hand, kept her distance out of embarrassment.

Indeed, my normally peaceful and stoic Zen gnome, who is usually oblivious to my home repair failures because he cannot look over his shoulder, fainted by the bird bath when Honey told him what I had done.

Well, you cannot please everyone.

Now this weekend was warmer, so of course the property instantly turned from tundra to muck. However, I had to take advantage of the warmth and refill all of the troughs and heated water buckets. That took the rest of the afternoon and required that I ended up looking like a mud wrestling competitor. I almost lost a mud boot in the muck. It is like wading through quicksand, especially when you are dragging a hose through it all. But by the time dinner was served, Claire and Honey’s, not mine, I had topped off all of the tanks. And made my very muddy property, even muddier.

Luckily, that all froze over last night, which made the trip out to feed the mules akin to skating on the moon’s pockmarked surface. Glad I had my ankle brace on.

Well, dawn approaches and another work week begins, and so I must flee.

But first, I get to effortlessly open the front door and feed and cuddle Smokey.

Then rounds and the dreadmill.

Then lawyering – which is just not as much fun as writing. Period. Full stop.

At least FJM has rejoined his siblings in the top 100.

Claire is a lot cuter than those other cover models. Although, if that gets another woman’s eyes on that web page, I’ll take it. And, in the long run, Jimmy is far more interesting then those other guys anyway.

But you fine, five readers have that cuppa expresso and take on Monday. No prisoners.

Rumor has it that February won’t last the week.

And with March, comes those first signs of Spring.

Hope, like Colorado wild grass, springs eternal.

So, go out there and make this day a great one.

2 Responses

  1. LOL! Everything around here turns into a Gilligan’s Island project also. Especially putting new guts in the toilet. Door knobs I can do. Takes one to know one I guess. Ivy has improved greatly but we are making a visit to her vet today anyway. To me, this blog is your best one yet. Thanks for the laugh. Now go kick some Hollywood ass.

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