Living and Learning

Making It Look Easy

IMG_0777 copyThere used to be a satellite dish bolted to the side of the house. It was no longer operational and was just looking ugly up there with a long cord dangling down and waving about in the breeze.  The fellow who took it down for me managed single-handedly to take out the bolts from the wall while holding on to the dish with his other hand, all while at the top of a long ladder.  He then managed to climb back down the ladder with the dish in one hand. I couldn’t watch. Oh, and he fixed a broken downspout before he left.

I thought I could take out the old microwave and put in the new one. When I looked at the task, though, I couldn’t figure out how to do it, so I called in the local experts. They were impressive. In a very short space of time they had whipped out the old microwave, measured and made the right sized holes in the right places, and installed the new machine, lickety split. They also paid attention to details. They tightened the cap on the seasoning jar before they moved it out of the way, covered up the stove and collected all the debris, put the old microwave in the new one’s box, and trucked it all away. It would have taken me hours, a second pair of hands, and a new tool for drilling a big hole for the electrical cord. They made it look easy, and I cheerfully paid them well for their skills.

When I decided to have my closets renovated, I hired a drywaller and his teenage son to take out a part of a wall, remove all the old wood paneling, and put up new drywall throughout both closets. It took them longer than anticipated, but after I saw how much time they had to spend in the dark, hot, and dusty closets, I was really glad I hadn’t attempted the job myself. Not only did they endure these uncomfortable circumstances for a full week, they were good-natured the whole time.

Because I was already in renovation mode, it made sense to get the rest of the apartment painted at the same time, and painting is something I am quite good at. I’ve done it lots of times; every time I have moved house, actually. But, when I looked around at the size of the project, I decided it was more than I wanted to take on single-handed. That was one of my smarter decisions. The two young men who did the work were cheerful and friendly, checked in with me on a regular basis to make sure they were doing what was required, and they did an excellent job.  They had paint-spraying equipment for doing most of the work, and that saved many hours. If I had tried to do it myself I think I would still be painting with rollers and brushes a few months from now.

Making something look easy, doesn’t mean that it is actually easy. It requires experience, the right tools, the right helpers, youthful confidence, and a cheerful disposition. And that, my friends, is worth paying for.

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