Monday, September 14, 2009

Horsefeathers! A Father's Legacy

My father (The Great Silverback) would be distraught to think that "Horsefeathers!" is his legacy to me but it is so much more than just "Horsefeathers!"

If The Grand Keeper gifted my sister and I with "The Mother's Curse" then The Great Silverback gifted us with "Horsefeathers!" and the ability to use it well. What is "Horsefeathers!" you ask?

Silverback is the handiest of handy men. He can sharpen the mower blades; change the alternator in a tractor; re plumb a bathroom; pull wire to a whole new floor; and tune up the bushings on Grand Keeper's over lock (sewing) machine all in one day. Ok, well the wiring may take a couple days but you get my point. He is the handiest of handy men.

His gift to my sister and I was to let us observe him doing all of the above and more on more than one occasion. We know the difference between a box wrench and crescent wrench. We can pick a ball hammer out of a line up. And we never forget to turn off the water or breaker when doing the appropriate home repair or maintenance.

If you have ever done or been involved in home maintenance, then you are probably aware that inevitably in every do it yourself project there comes a moment when you want to flip out, lose it, or cuss like a sailor. The handiest of men was not immune to these moments. A nail would fall between the 1/4 inch gap into the abyss. A piece of plywood wouldn't stay square to where it was going to end up. The wrench slipped off the nut at maximum torque and projected his knuckles into the immovable force removing several layers of flesh upon contact.

It was at these moments that my sister and I were gifted with "Horsefeathers!" Silverback was very mindful of his influence in our lives and the last thing he wanted to do was introduce us to the art of colorful phraseology. The Grand Keeper, in her infinite wisdom, learned that "Horsefeathers!" was a good indicator that our observation time was up and that we should probably leave the area.

Over time we learned to laugh about Horsefeathers and even considered adding it to our lexicon of DIY vocabulary. But were we worthy? Had we survived enough skinned knuckles to warrant a Horsefeathers moment?

Only time would tell. (aka To Be Continued...)