Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just Two More Turns

My dad taught me a lot of stuff when I was growing up. I watched him deal with people in very difficult situations and I learned from him. I saw him use his sense of humor to influence people and I learned from him. I saw him show great respect for those less fortunate than himself and I learned from him. I saw his gratefulness to God for things he had and I learned from him. I watched him persevere when others may have given up and I learned from him. And I could go on.

I can still hear the prayer he always said at the supper table. “Lord, bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies and thank you for the manner in which you let us live. Amen” If I heard that blessing one time I heard it a thousand times.

I heard it so much that I learned to be thankful for the manner in which He lets me live.

But I never did learn how to fix things from my dad. If my wife married me for my handiness around the house, she is a very unhappy woman. My dad could fix anything. If the vacuum cleaner broke he would take it apart and fix it. If the television went out, he would take the back off of it and replace the tube. When they built their home, daddy did all the wiring. People were always bringing stuff that had broken for daddy to fix it. When friends didn’t have water, they would call daddy to work on the pump. He was the grocery store man, the local undertaker and Mr. Fix It.

He taught me a lot of things but I definitely missed the lesson on fixing stuff.

This past weekend the light in the ceiling of our master bathroom went out. I decided to change the light bulb. That couldn’t be too difficult, right? I removed the old bulb and screwed the new bulb in place. No light. I took the new bulb out thinking it was bad and tried it on a bedside lamp. The bulb worked perfectly. I took the same new bulb again to the light fixture in the bathroom and screwed it in. No light.

I made what I thought was a good diagnosis. I told my wife that we have a bad light fixture and to please call our friend, David Bowden, who just remodeled another bathroom for us and ask him to come replace the fixture. When I got home that night, the light was working in the bathroom. I was impressed that David found a fixture that looked so much like the old fixture.

I wasn’t impressed a few minutes later when my wife told me he came out and turned the bulb two more times and the bulb worked.

In other words we had to call a specialist out to our house to change a light bulb.

I received an email tonight from David, my light bulb specialist friend. He sent me a video he thought I would enjoy. He also mentioned to me to let him know when I wanted to sign up for some electrical lessons.

Just two more turns and I would have had light. Just two more turns and I would not have looked like an idiot. I was almost there. Just two more turns.

The bigger lesson though is how much we miss in life because we give up just two turns short of reaching our goal. I definitely missed the light fixture lesson from my dad.

But I think I'm learning the bigger lesson.

PS In response to the comment, "How many Goddard's does it take to change a light bulb?" In this case it took two: One to call for help and one to write about it:-)


hanginon said...

No doubt, you and your fine family are an example of a group that gets the bigger lessons....I was just funnin' ya about the electrical lessons! Heck, I sure don't want to have to bury somebody. We all have our specialties. Have a good weekend and call me if I can be a help.

Anonymous said...

I can't help myself but here goes. How many Goddards does it take to change a light bulb?

Anonymous said...

Bruce and I had fun with the light bulb episode. We have laughed! He thought it would make a good blog.
Good blog Bruce.

Anonymous said...

My boys and I are laughing. I can't fix things either, but then I'm a girl. :-)

LL in SC

KAT said...

Mr. Goddard:
Maybe your people-oriented aspect came from your father but the analytical and logical portions were not transferred.

I learned to fix some things from my father but if you get a job working for your mom at a dilapidated hardware store as the handyman's apprentice you will learn much. I did. That and the Home Depot handbook are wonderful.

I have even found old builder's tool and hardware manuals from the turn of the century. This was when books actually made sense, for crying out loud.

Hope you get over your cold. Rest and juice along with Tylenol Sinus will get you there.