The Suitcase Lady


April 1, 2014, 8:07 pm

In addition to being married to the love of my life, I am also married to Mr. Bricolage. (Bricolage is French for do-it-yourself.)

Mr. Bricolage is the name of a giant chain of home improvement stores headquartered in France. My guy epitomizes that name.

In our house, leaky faucets get fixed,  scratched woodwork gets refinished, clogged drains are immediately liberated and faulty wiring gets rewired. It’s as if I live with a crew of expert plumbers, carpenters, electricians and painters. I marvel at my good fortune every time yet another thing goes haywire.

The house I grew up in did not function this way. My father was a wonderful, caring man, but he was not handy; tools defied him. One short story will explain all.

My mother asked my father to put an awning over the back door so we wouldn’t have to stand in the rain or snow when fumbling with the key in the ever sticking lock. My father bought a little assemble-it-yourself aluminum awning, gritted his teeth and managed to get the pieces in place. Next, he measured the space above the door three times to get the awning perfectly centered. He put the screws in place and tightened them to last for eternity.

And then the great moment came when he opened the door. Crunch. He had installed the awning too low, and our back door now opened only 18 inches. Several choice swear words followed.

Here is the most amazing part of the story. The awning was left that way until my mother sold the house over 30 years later. Every time anyone came in the back door, they came in sideways. The groceries were squeezed through that small space as well.

I would have married my guy even if he were not Mr. Bricolage. But what a bonus to be able to walk straight ahead through every door in the house.


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