Aging Gracefully,  SURVIVAL & HEALING,  Uncategorized

Shannon The Riveter

I can’t remember what it was the other night that reminded me of this, but for years I have always tried to fix things around the house on my own before I call in the professionals.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it is a disaster. My ex started calling me Shannon The Riveter.

This trait (or fault) of mine stems from my second marriage where I was alone at home a lot. I would try to tackle the leaks and issues on my own rather than admit that I needed help.


One night I walked down to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and since it was extremely quiet in the house I could hear every tiny noise. I started hearing the drip of the leaking sink next to me.  It had been leaking for months but was never fixed. 

You know how everything seems to be 10 times as loud in the middle of the night? This DRIP was driving me crazy. It seemed to be blaring in  my ears. 

Have to Fix that Drip

I started to go back up the stairs and something pulled at me!  My thought was…. I had to fix that drip! It was 3 AM, but I had to get that sink to stop dripping. So I got on my back with a flashlight in my pajamas and proceeded to find the cause of this drip. I jiggled things around and tapped them with the mag light as though it was a hammer and I jiggled some more.  Drip, Drip, Drip.

My eyes traced the water to the source. It seemed to be coming from one certain line that led to the sink. So I jiggled some more. And I jiggled a little harder. 

The Little Dutch Girl

POP! The line broke and hot water was freely flowing at a very fast rate onto me and the bathroom floor. I yelled for help and tried plugging the hole in the wall with my finger as though I were the little Dutch girl with my finger in the dike! It was hot and it wasn’t stopping. 

My husband at the time came running down the steps to see why I was yelling over and over. He found me on my back in the middle of the night with the upper half of me inside the bathroom sink cabinet, soaked from head to toe.

I’m Sure it was Comical

I’m sure it was comical but he wasn’t laughing. It was early on a Saturday morning and he wasn’t able to call a plumber until Monday. All I remember from the conversation that followed was, “IF I COULD HAVE FIXED THIS BY MYSELF, DON’T YOU THINK I WOULD HAVE?  Who do you think you are?  Rosie The Riveter???”

Hmmmmm…. then why didn’t he call the plumber long before I decided to try to fix it? 

Flying Air Conditioners

Another time, probably the same year, I had a task that needed to be done and kept getting put it off,  so again…. I was alone for the weekend and decided I would get it done myself!

Here is the journal entry from that time in my life:

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 


Air conditioners and brain warp.


Our bedroom is upstairs in the loft or attic or whatever you want to call it.  It gets extremely hot in the summer so we have an extra window air conditioner that we forgot to remove this fall.  Actually we didn’t forget, we just procrastinated.  Last fall when I tried taking the unit out of the window without asking for help (me – trying to be independent again), like a dumb ass I opened the window too far – not realizing that the window was what was holding the damn thing in, and the unit fell two stories, onto the neighbors drive way. 

Scaring the Neighbors

The neighbor was sitting in her backyard when it happened.  The look on her face was priceless.  Ha Ha.  She looked up to see me hanging out the window – trying to catch it. (What ever made me think I could catch it – I have no clue !) Sometimes I have a brain warp or something.  My kids laughed so hard when they found out, they had tears rolling down their faces.  I have never been able to live that one down. 

The sound it made upon impact was like a bomb exploding.  All the neighbors came running down the street to see what the explosion was.  Thank god the woman next door wasn’t standing under my window.  She knows now to stay as far away from my house as possible.  I have a habit of trying to do things like that without asking for help.  It usually gets me in trouble.  I could go on for two or three more paragraphs with things that I have screwed up.  But I won’t bore you.

No Way

So anyway, back to my original thought.  Last night it started storming and the hail was hitting that damn unit the entire night.  Ice cubes hitting metal…. how can anyone sleep.  I was awake the entire night, wishing that I would have asked for help a few weeks ago in getting that out of my window and stored away for the winter.  I almost got out of bed at 3 am to take it out.  But my brain – even that early in the morning – started working.  I decided,  there is NO WAY that I will attempt to do it alone again.  Can’t afford to buy another window unit. 

Now I Remember

I am remembering now what brought these memories up. During a recent storm one of our upstairs shutters fell off the house. We had just purchased a brand new extension ladder and Roger was excited to try it out. But this shutter needed to be placed in a hard to reach spot on the top of our house. We had a very comical few minutes of trying to figure out our new ladder and once we got it propped up on the house, it took us quite a few attempts at reaching the spot where the shutter was to be placed. We had no luck.

Attempting Something Else

I went into the house, opened up the tiny window that the shutter was usually attached to and tried pushing my body through it to reach the holes that the shutter attaches to. 

Here we are, almost 60 years old, Roger standing on top of the ladder trying to tell me how to do it, me hanging out the window trying to reach the spot with no luck and cars going past us, just staring as though they are expecting us both to come crashing to the ground! 

Out of Danger

I finally got tired of us both being in danger of getting hurt so I grabbed my tube of Liquid Nails and I glued the heck out of both of the shutters.  Those suckers won’t be falling off our house anytime soon!

Note To Self

There are many people in this town who would love to make a few extra dollars fixing things around our house and we are not only getting too old to be doing things like this but we have no “handyman” experience.  Shannon The Riveter needs to hang up her tool belt and let others take over!

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