Friday, December 4, 2009

My Friend, the Hammer

Years ago, before I was married, I bought my first house and spent less than you might spend on a BMW today. I had just moved from Arkansas to Arizona in a U-Haul filled, sad as it was, with a meager collection of possessions that most thrift stores would reject, including some hand tools, some of which belonged to my grandfather.

My new house had a miserable back porch, a place that most chickens would find unacceptable to visit, much less roost, with moldy peeling wallboard, spattered in black in those places where more than a few rats, so depressed by their surroundings, took their own lives in desperation, apparently by banging their heads against the wall.

It occurred to me that I, a new home owner, should improve my situation. I still remember my first visit to the hardware store, trying out the mini sledgehammers until I found just the right one, then taking it home and smashing the back porch to pieces.

Since then my hammer never has let me down--my Luca Brazzi. Last year I noticed a crack in the handle just below the head. Did I go buy another one? No. I filled the crack with heated glue, wrapped the handle tight with nylon cord (the little patch of white) and then finished it with a layer of stretched tape. And like my newly repaired hernia, my hammer is now better than before.

Soon he and I will be visiting the guest bathroom. It will be glorious.

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