Thursday, March 22, 2012

The hidden Squirrel in you.

When something breaks nowadays you probably throw it out as it usually can't be fixed ( well at least it can't be fixed for less than what it initially cost you). Or you just shove it in a drawer or cupboard to get to later.
It wasn't always like this, you used to be able to repair things. In fact it was a mark of your ability to be able to be a useful husband / father in the future.

Like a peacock displaying it's feathers to gain a suitable mate, husbands/fathers to be must be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of everyday repair capabilities. This list examines that.

In order to repair things however, you need to build up a store of parts which often means just hanging on to some really broken stuff to strip for parts. It's a fine line because you don't want to keep everything - that's something different- but just enough to be useful.

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Hoarding is a listed medical condition. It is more often listed as Pathological collecting and is best described as the excessive acquisition and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that would seemingly qualify as useless or without value. Compulsive hoarding  is also apparently associated with health risks, impaired functioning, economic burden, and adverse effects on friends and family members. I would say that's because you have to put all that stuff somewhere. 

When I was a kid I began to learn that my Dad kept a lot of stuff, he never seemed to throw anything away. I'm certainly not saying he is a compulsive hoarder and if I ever wanted to build/fix something he seemed to have a part of the things required.


I did notice a couple of odd things

There seems to be eight  broken washing machines hidden under the house along with the half used cans of paint when he painted the house - 20 years ago.

He has a hobby farm that is liberally bursting at the seams with odds and ends. We once bought a pile of scrap iron and steel at a clearing sales because it had the one piece we needed. Mind you straight after the sale was complete a lovely lady came over and bought a bucket of horse shoes from our pile, for $5.00 which coincidentally was the price we paid for the whole pile !

Dad was for ever reusing stuff such as re-straightening nails to use again, picking up stuff from the hard rubbish collection in the middle of the night (which drives Mum nuts). My current lawnmower was on a hard rubbish pile and was "saved", refurbished and now works like a charm - if taking 30 minutes to start and making the same amount of noise as a Formula One car and blowing smoke constantly is counted.

When we were pulling down our old house he kept the whole lot to re-use the timber somewhere else. He still has some of it.

I assumed that I was fine and that I would not wake up one day with washing machines under the house. However when The Wife to be  first moved in I had 100's of drink coasters I had collected, which was a worry as I don't remember why I was doing that or when I had collected them.

I also started picking up discarded things from hard rubbish piles that I had decided could be fixed. Now I actively stop myself. It just got too hard to hide it all from the Beloved.

And don't think you're all perfect , we've all got "that drawer" or cupboard that is full of everything and everything, that we're always going to "clean up one of these days". It has all the things we have hoarded collected over the years and it's usually in the kitchen or in our case also under the stairs.

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You know why you haven't gotten to it yet -because some times it's just to hard to decide what should stay and what should go.

So now when I approach something that is going to have to go , I silently say to myself  "What would Dad keep?"

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