Husband Follies #100 – The Gate Escapades

It has been a long time since I wrote a Husband Follies blog about my brilliant, talented, handy, and yet quirky husband Gary; and these are usually about something he did that confounds me. So here is another installment. There is no figuring out the complex mind of Gary R. Lassin.

As is typical with home ownership, two issues in our home came up at the same time about a month ago. One was that our chandelier snapped one of it’s cords, and was dangling on the three remaining cords. My husband was sure he could fix the issue, and ordered new cords from the company that manufactures the chandelier. I was nervous watching it dangling on less than it’s needed cords.

Easy enough for my husband to fix? I was doubtful – it is a complex piece with a million crystals. Gary explained that if we took all the crystals off, he could easily detach it, re-thread the cords, and re-hang it. I was dubious, as it needs to be hung by four cords of exactly the same length so it is straight, and again, it is a complex piece and Gary has absolutely no experience hanging chandelier light fixtures.

After investigating further, Gary realized he would not be able to complete the task well, and we called and got estimates. Many of the estimates cost more than the piece itself, but it included removing and cleaning the crystals that badly needed cleaning as the crystals had dulled and were not refracting light. (In other words, loads of labor involved, and we all know that in the world of fix-its, time is money.) We compromised, and removed all the crystals ourselves, and washed and cleaned them. Then we called the electrician in and after the electrician re-hung with new cords to perfection, we put the crystals back on. Well, I say “we” but it was like that funny Book of Mormon musical show song, “You and Me, but Mostly Me.” Gary took off a few dozen crystals, and the rest of the removal, cleaning, and re-hanging was left to me. (Millions of crystals, no exaggeration.) No worries though, it is looking better than ever and is now safely suspended on thicker cords.

At the same time our chandelier cord snapped, our electronic gate motor went kaput. We use an electronic gate to our backyard and garage, and we knew the motor we put on had a limited life span because it was a bit defective from the outset. Gary was able to jimmy-rig (He calls this jury-rig and we debate the correct term all the time as we both excel at this technique) the motor and got it to work and there it stayed working well for two happy years. The company that sold us the defective gate motor sent us a replacement one that we stored away knowing the limited shelf life of the jimmy-rigged one currently on the gate.

Not having a gate that closed off our backyard kind of worried me. We have a backyard pool and the gate is the only thing barring entrance to our backyard. In order to use our garage (it is RAINY season here) we had to leave the gate opened as it was not able to be opened and closed manually. That worried me having the pool open to anyone who could wander in. So for week and weeks, I worried, constantly asking Gary to call our gate installer, or some other gate company. He is super-busy all the time, and our original gate company said they would get to it, but never did, mostly because they did not want to put on another gate motor like our first one. It was a free motor, so that’s what we wanted- installation only, and it was too small potatoes a job for them to give it any priority. We tried to bribe them by getting a quote for a pool fence. But no response for weeks.

Finally, Gary was tired of my bugging him, and he put out feelers for other gate installers.

After another week went by with no luck, he announced to me quite casually the other day, without any forewarning, that HE was going outside to take off the bad gate motor and put on the new one. SAY WHAT???????? We had gone around and around with this issue and attempts to get it fixed for WEEKS.

There was no discussion, no explanation. He just went out one afternoon to do the job, and that was it. Done. Completed.

I mean, really??? He knew how to do this all along, and did not do it? Three weeks went by and he could have done this three weeks ago? (I admit I like things fixed and get extremely impatient when something is out of order.)

Aside from the above mystery, I was also skeptical. If he thought he could do the job, why wasn’t it done already? Did it take him that long to convince himself that he could do it? I was a bit worried too as there was electricity involved, but I did not dare mention that.

Sure enough, in less than an hour, the old motor was off, Gary was THANKFULLY not electrocuted, and he hummed a tune as he gathered more tools to put the new motor on.

Less than another hour later, the new motor was on, with the remotes for the gate controls set. He spent another half hour playing with the closing-from-opening ratio, and he called support so he could adjust to get it not to slam, so it would shut tight without slamming the pole. He then got it exactly right, and took a video.

I am still incredulous that the gate could have been fixed all this time in two hours by my handy husband who knows his way around a tool box, yet sat broken all that time. From knowing him as I do, he probably did some reading, research, etc, as he is wont to do with projects, and then decided one day that he could tackle the job on his own. Who knows what goes through that mysterious brain of his? The only thing I know, is that I am happy it is fixed, working well, and he got a huge thank you hug and called a “gate hero.”

Still…… why didn’t he do it from the beginning? And this my friends, is why I call this series Husband Follies – sometimes there is absolutely no understanding between our two brains. Yet life with Gary is fun, unpredictable, and filled with a lot of laughter and fix-it projects.

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