This morning as I was thumbing through several issues of Popular Mechanics, my husband’s favorite magazine, I paused on the Father’s Day issue. The cover caught my eye – “127 Things My Father Taught Me.” It made me wonder – what did my father teach me?
Looking at the article, I found that most fathers gave tips for repairing the car or some item in the house and others imparted general nuggets of wisdom. When I was sixteen, my dad taught me how to check the oil in my car and add more when necessary. This proved to be invaluable. My first car, a red 1970 Toyota Corolla, burned oil like crazy.
He taught me how to make delicious eggplant parmigiana.
My father was a plumber, and very often he would ask me to go get a particular tool for him out of the garage. I quickly learned about flat head and Phillips head screw drivers, augers, basin wrenches, snakes, washers, PVC pipe joints, plumbers putty and the like. As a result of this training, minor home repairs and maintenance don’t frighten me. I feel fully confident I can tackle any of them with my tools and the help of a YouTube video tutorial.
Next fall, my older daughter will leave our home for college. I now wonder if her dad and I have equipped her with the necessary basic knowledge to survive in the real world of home maintenance. I sat down and made a list of essential knowledge or skills we needed to pass on to her before next August. Here’s what I came up with so far:
- Locating the breaker box and how to reset a tripped breaker.
- How to turn the water off at the main, under sinks, and behind toilets in the event of a burst pipe or a leak.
- How to use a plunger. Better yet, make sure she owns a plunger.
- How to use a fire extinguisher and when to change the batteries in the smoke detectors.
- Locating the air conditioning filters and how often to change them.
- How to unclog the garbage disposal and where to find the special wrench made for the task.
I am certain that I am forgetting many things and so glad I have nearly a year to prepare. If you have any other essential tips for home maintenance you feel I should add to this list, please leave a comment or email me at email@example.com.