The Proverbs tell us pride goes before a fall. I fell all over myself this afternoon.
I was so proud to have taken the door handle off the storm door at my dad’s house. The wind or years of use, something had bent the tongue that holds the door shut. I loosened two screws, dropped the old handle by Alexander Hardware. The great Tom Gray, a good friend and good guy, ordered me a new door handle, and I picked it up today.
I asked Debbie, the wonderful hardware genius in Tom’s store, to come home with me and put the handle on. I told her I wasn’t sure I could get the new handle installed. She said, oh so sweetly, she would be delighted if she were not already obligated elsewhere.
I got to my dad’s house swollen with confidence. The swelling soon went down. The handle is comprised of seven parts: a spring (I immediately lost the spring,) a button on the handle, the outside handle, two screws, a post that goes from the inside handle to the outside handle, and the inside handle. I spent about 15 minutes looking for the lost spring.
How does one lose a spring walking from the kitchen to the front door.? I stopped to turn the AC on. My dad has a habit of turning the heat on instead of ajusting the AC to run at a higher temperature. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t do it on purpose. He just wants the AC to stop and turning the heat on seems to work pretty well. By the time I got back to the front door, the spring was gone. I got down on my hands and knees in the kitchen, the hallway where the thermostat lives, and around the front door, both inside and outside on the porch. After 15 minutes on my hands and knees there is no pride or swelling left. Everything turns flat and desperate.
The spring was gone. I decided to mount the handle, the button, the post and the other handle without the spring, thinking that it might make getting into the house difficult, but not getting out. My dad rarely comes in that door, but he often leaves by that door.
In order to mount all four pieces and install two screws, I had to be able to hold all four simultaneously and thread in a screw. The first three times I tried, I dropped all four pieces and was a tad embarrassed at how they crashed and clanged all over the front porch. I tried maybe three or four more times. This is the kind of thing my brother, Bill can do without thinking. He might lock his jaw a few times in frustration, but he would not lose the spring, would not drop the four pieces three or four or five or six times, and would not conclude the entire process as I did.
I left out the button and the post and simply screwed the two handles together. My dad can now lock his storm door, exit his storm door, and nobody on the face of the earth can enter from the outside.
If you want in, ring the doorbell.