My house had been cleaned and de-cluttered to perfection. The listing agent was optimistic. The sign was out on the lawn and I was ready. Then, the very first person to view my home saw mould on the garage ceiling. Oh no!
I had seen the dark spots, but I thought they were insects or cobwebs or something less sinister than mould. So, I moved the car into the driveway, closed the garage door, and got out the long ladder to take a look. I tried to brush off whatever-it-was, but most of it was still there. I thought I’d leave this problem to someone who knew what they were doing; I would just put the car back and call an expert.
The moment I pushed the button to open the garage door again, I realized my mistake. The door got stuck on the long ladder. Damn! I thought that if I jiggled the garage door up and down a couple of times it would detach itself. By now the ladder was stuck under the metal band at the top of the garage door and tilted jauntily on one foot. So, I pushed the button again and again until I realized that all I was doing was making a bad situation worse. I could now move the ladder, but only because the door rollers had become detached from the track and the top panel was flopping in.“Try not to panic,” I said to myself. Call someone calmer and wiser.
I called the realtor and explained my predicament. Although I swear I could feel her smiling, she took only a momentary pause before she said “I know a good handyman.” Wonderful. I called the good handyman and told him about my mould problem. He said he thought he could help me with that and determine whether or not I had a leaky roof. Then I said, “I also have another problem.” I think he may have sighed silently. Then I explained about the garage door. “OK,” he said. “I’ll take a look.”
Later that day, the good handyman came and brought with him a wave of calm and confident capability. He gave only a cursory glance at the derailed door and focussed his attention on the dark spot on the ceiling. After tapping the ceiling and rubbing at the dark spot with a rag, he determined that I did not have mould. I had mildew. There’s a difference, I learned. Mildew is a surface problem caused by condensation, while mould is a structural problem caused by rotting wood. Or at least, that is what I took away from his explanation. Phew. Big relief. He was able to brush away the problem both literally and figuratively.
Then, he set about fixing the door, which he did in a matter of minutes. A problem that I thought would involve six men and a boy lifting a heavy door on to a high track actually involved only one man with the right tools removing the rollers, resetting them, and then bolting them back on to the door. So smart.
Great. My problems are solved. Before he left, the good handyman checked inside the access to the roof space to make sure I had adequate insulation (which I did), apologetically asked to be paid, and went on his way. I was almost jumping up and down with joy at getting not one but two problems solved within less than an hour. I thought about kidnapping this lovely man and keeping in my basement, but that would be selfish of me. Such grace and wisdom must be shared.
After he left, I thought I’d make a quick trip to the grocery store and went to start my car that was still standing in the driveway. Nothing. It was dead. What had I done? I had no idea. I sat incredulous in the driver’s seat, staring at the exclamation point on my dashboard screen and listening to the silence that should have been engine noise.
OK, this is a problem I know how to fix. I can call the automobile association. That’s what I pay them for. I phoned and asked for a battery boost and then waited about twenty minutes for the truck to arrive. For the second time that day I was getting help from a cheerful charming man with skills. Life is good.
The mechanic brought out the battery-boosting gear, hooked up my battery and gave it a jolt. Sure enough, the dashboard lights came on and I breathed another sigh of relief. I said a grateful goodbye to the mechanic and he asked God to bless me. I was thinking he already had, but I thought too soon.
After I waved farewell to the truck, I went in the house to get my purse before getting back in my car to go shopping. To my dismay, in the two minutes I was gone the car had died again. There was nothing. Total blackness on the dashboard screen. What the heck? That’s not supposed to happen when you have called the automobile association.
Big sigh. OK, then. I am not too proud to call them a second time for the same problem on the same day. About half an hour later, the same mechanic returned, only this time he didn’t look quite so happy. He boosted my battery for the second time that day and this time we waited for the engine to turn over several times before disconnecting the jump-starter.
Now the car’s engine was running, but there was a message on the dashboard screen. It said I had a problem with something electrical related to the parking brake. I had to move the car to a level surface and engage the parking brake. So, while the mechanic waited, I backed out of the driveway and onto the road. When the car was more-or-less level I parked it with the parking brake, then released the brake and magically the warning message disappeared. Yay!
When he felt confident my car was not going to die again, the kindly mechanic advised me to get the battery checked out and went on his way, again. I gingerly drove to the grocery store, hoping that the engine would behave itself, and thankfully, it did.
I was so thankful I also went to the liquor store to stock up on wine. Having two smiling handy men get me unstuck, fixed up, boosted, and recharged in the same day is something to celebrate!