We were so looking forward to doing our first load of laundry in our new washer and dryer. You can imagine our disappointment, after amost three months of waiting, when the installer said, “Nope.”
The washer and dryer were too deep. They would end up blocking the door to the garage. The units were stackable, but the cupboards that were installed prevented that. The options were move the cabinets or exchange the appliances for ones that would fit. A quick internet search revealed that ones that would fit weren’t really all that good. We’d have to move the cabinets.
The installer quickly told us not to worry. So long as the units were still on the truck, he could take them back to the store and we could arrange for another delivery day, once we’d re organized the laundry room. By this time, Mell had to get ready for work. And I had a plan. I just didn’t tell her.
She went to work and I called my brother. My sister in law – his wife – answered. I would bet money that she guessed something was up just based on the tone of my voice, but she handed the phone off to my brother anyway.
I explained to him my problem and he agreed to come over and have a look early in the afternoon. I got the kids some lunch while I waited for him and his wife to come over.
He checked it out and agreed that it wouldn’t be that hard with the right tools.
“You have tools, right?” he asked.
“Tools?” I answered. “Of course not. I just thought you’d come over to have a look and see if I was on the right track.”
I owned some tools, but not the ones I needed. I don’t own many tools, because my wife gets nervous when I either want to build things or take them apart. I tend to start first and ask questions later, creating anything ranging from a big mess to a huge disaster.
My brother sighed. “Gimme a few minutes,” he said. “I’ll be right back.”
Fifteen minutes later he came back with his Magic Bag – which is what I’ve come to call the bag he carries his tools in. I’m more used to seeing it when my car won’t work.
Half an hour more and between me, him, and my sister in law had the one side of the cupboard unscrewed from the wall. They took off the doors first.
“Why are you doing that?” I asked.
“Trust us,” my sister in law said. “We’ve done this kind of thing before.”
Once it was off, we checked the wall we wanted to remount it to. There were no wall studs for us to secure it to. We would need drywall anchors.
“I’ll get them,” my sister in law said. I offered money and I’m not sure exactly what she said but it amounted to her not willing to take my money. She put on her coat and shoes and was off.
My brother and I then went to mark the wall where we would mount the cupboard. We used my phone for a flashlight and my Playbook app as a bubble level. Being able to use my tech to help things along made me feel pretty good. But we weren’t having much luck. My kids were within earshot and I was having a tough time not dropping the F-bombs. MY brother started to experience the same problem.
We both agreed it shouldn’t be that hard. But we couldn’t get them to line up.
Then his wife, my sister in law, came in and helped us out. She had to idea to mount it as close to the ceiling as possible and use the wall and ceiling to square the cabinet on the wall. It worked and about fifteen minutes later, we were done.
I took these pictures and then BBMed them to my wife.
And I waited. And waited. No BBM sent back. I couldn’t be sure if it was because she got busy at work or she fell over.
She called the house phone instead.
“Really?” she said, without preamble. “Did you get the cabinets moved?”
“You saw the pictures, right?”
She went through a litany of concerns we both had when we estimated the work that had to be done and I could feel her joy through the phone. It made me happy to know that something I helped to do made her this happy. It hadn’t been a good couple of months and I wanted her to know that things were going our way.
“Did Chad help?” she asked.
“No-ooooo,” I lied.
“That was a big cabinet. You would’ve needed some help.”
“Nope,” I said, “All on my own.”
All the while I’m trying to shush my brother and his sister in law, who were giggling. I eventually fessed up to my wife – I can’t keep much from her – but for that short period, it made me feel good to be her hero. Truth be told, though, it did feel better to be able to call my brother and have him help me solve a problem. Not the first time and sure as hell not the last. And his wife, my sister in law, God bless her, is cut from the same cloth.
The big finish to the job was Elena. She called out that she couldn’t find Reid. It concerned me but not overmuch. My boy had a tendency to find a closet and hide in it and wait for us to find him. Those were the first places I checked. I couldn’t find him anywhere.
This could be interesting, I thought.
My mind raced for about a second and a half, thinking that maybe he ventured outside maybe or fell down or hurt himself, thinking about all of the things that could possibly go wrong. And then I went and looked in the tv room.
That seemed to complete the day. I said goodbye to my brother and kissed my sister in law good bye on her cheek (to which Elena exclaimed, “You kissed Beth! You kissed Beth!”) and put my boy down for his nap.