Mr. Fix-it throws a wrench into the home maintenance plan

Over the years, the husband and I have developed a three-step approach to home repair.

Step one is to note the problem.

Step two is to wait and see if the problem takes care of itself.

Step three is to talk about how professionals attacked the problem on one of those home and garden television shows.

Of course, they always have large work crews, no clean-up and accomplish in 10 minutes what may take the rest of us three months, so then we get discouraged and revert to step two, which is wait and see if the problem takes care of itself.

For the record, a home repair project has never taken care of itself yet, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up hope.

The system worked well for more than three decades and we were happy. And then our youngest daughter married a fellow who does not abide by the three-step plan.

He does not note a problem, talk about a problem, or consult with media gurus; he simply attacks the problem head-on and fixes it as fast as he can.

We should probably call him Flash.

His wife once mentioned that the tile in their kitchen was looking dated and 90 minutes later they were at a big box store and she was picking out tile. He had the old tile off and the surface prepped for new tile by sundown.

It’s like watching a time-lapse video.

When their youngest outgrew her crib and needed a toddler bed, he built one. In a weekend.

We appreciate that the man has talent, but he sure makes the rest of us look bad.

He was at our home for dinner one evening and noticed that the refrigerator door made a ka-lunk sound as you closed it. He asked if it bothered me. I said yes, but I was still on step two, waiting to see if the ka-lunk sound would take care of itself.

The meal was about over when I detected motion in my peripheral vision accompanied by a beeping sound – the alarm signaling the refrigerator door was open. I looked over my shoulder and there was Flash with the door completely off the refrigerator.

“I found the problem,” he said. “It’s this small plastic clip. I can fix it.”

“Great,” I said. “I can get dessert.”

We all have our strengths, right? Mine is chocolate.

He had the refrigerator door fixed by the time I cut the brownies.

We appreciate it all. We really do – the screen repair on the back door, the towel bar that no longer pulls out of the wall, the new door stop, the electrical help, the plumbing help, the yard help and the loan of the fancy nail gun with the air compressor.

But now that he’s raised the bar, life will never be the same. It’s time for us to up our game.

And so we are. We’re adding step four to our three-step approach to home repair—call the son-in-law.