Saturday, June 27, 2009


Yesterday, we had new garage doors installed. Our old wooden ones had to go. I was sick and tired of prying up the bottom of the door in winter when it was freezing cold. The wooden doors actually froze to the garage floor. I would then stick a shovel underneath and jump on the handle to break the ice and pop the door open. Enough is enough! Time for some new ones.

Details - do you notice details? Well I don't. I never noticed that the doors did not have handles on the outside. Hmmm. One of our garage doors has the automatic door opener, so you don't need an outside handle to open it up.

Our other garage door opens manually. Much better for the oxygen delivery man (we just leave it unlocked and he picks up the empty cylinders and brings us full ones), and much better if I want to take my bike out for a ride. We're down to one car, since hubby doesn't drive any more, so the second garage is for storage. I keep my bicycle in there, as well as gardening stuff, mops and buckets, garbage can, recycling bin, you get the picture. It's much easier to manually open this door, instead of using an electric door opener. I'd have to walk around the garden (or ride my bike) with the opener in my pocket, or I wouldn't get back in.

Doors were installed. Technicians (that's what the salesman called them), were almost ready to leave, when one of them said:

"You realize Ma'am that there is no handle on this door."

Well I'll be! I hadn't noticed. Now do I ask the most obvious question?

I did.

"How am I going to open it?"

"We can put a handle on it for you."

Oh, am I supposed to be impressed? Or did they think I really didn't want to open this brand new door?

They screwed on a suitable handle, which worked like it should.

"How do you like it, Ma'am?"

"Very nice, thank you."

Now really, it's just a door handle. You'd think this guy had given birth to it!!!

Curious, I went for a walk down our street. Sure enough, there were only 1 or 2 houses with crummy old wooden garage doors - with outside handles. The rest had new (or newer) garage doors with no outside handles. That meant only one thing - almost our whole street used automatic garage door openers. I never noticed.

We had a new bathroom shower installed last year. The old one was leaking and looking gross. I had tried caulking it, waiting 24 hours, using the hairdryer to dry it, ripping it out, caulking it all over again, waiting 36 hours, blow-drying it, changing the caulking material - all to no avail. It kept on leaking. Finally I'd had enough. I am certainly no handiman - or handiwoman for that matter. Not even close.

So I went to our local Home Hardware store. Picked out a reasonably priced shower stall and fixtures. I don't like these stores. Too intimidating. Too many nuts and bolts. Too much "guy stuff" (read: stuff I don't understand, and don't really want to).

A week or so later, our shower arrived along with the "technician". He spent all day installing it. It looked fine. I was asked not to use it for 24 hours. That was alright with me, as I really really wanted that caulking to stick.

I waited 48 hours just to be sure. Turned the handle to the proper water temperature. Then pushed it in towards the wall, so I wouldn't get a deluge on my head. I don't like a full stream of water. Usually about half strength is fine with me. It didn't budge. I pushed as hard as I could. It still didn't move. So, I twisted and turned. Pulled and pushed. Nothing. Gave up and had a full-throttle shower. What happened to water conservation? Don't they now make flush toilets using only a fraction of the usual amount of water to avoid wasting our precious resources?

The next morning I tried again. Still could not slow that shower down! So back to Home Hardware I went. I checked out all the "newer" shower hardware and found that you could not adjust any of them. One setting. That's it. Period.

Now I ask you - when you go to buy a tap or a faucet, do you ask if you can adjust the water flow? And when you order garage doors, do you ask if they come with a handle so you can open them?

Either I shop at the wrong places, or our world is getting crazier!


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh what a cute story, Wendy. It probably wasn't the least bit funny to you---but it made me smile....

I haven't had a garage door that you have to open yourself in a very very long time.. I can't remember when... I didn't even know that they made the old manual doors anymore. BUT--since people need to get in and out of that one garage, I can see why you need a manual door.

We only have one wide 2-car garage door --and it was made of wood. We obviously don't have trouble with ice and snow--but that door was rotting at the bottom. SO--we got a new metal door and opener a few months ago. And YES---there is no handle on the outside. ha ha.. We keep a remote in the car --and hide one in the yard/porch..

About the shower head, you can buy adjustable heads at most hardware stores. You can adjust your water easily... Check on it somewhere (maybe at another store).

Well--that's all of the advice I have for tonight... In the meantime, smile when thinking that you won't have to work hard next winter to get the door opened!!!!!

Thanks for a wonderful post, Wendy.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty darn funny Wendy. I grumble about inane things.

We had a handle on our new metal garage door at the house in Canada. It was just a manual door. We never got around to adding the automatic opener. It made me mad when it was frozen to the ground in the winter and I had to kick at the ice.

Here they are all automatic and I like that because they are so wide.. plus you would burn your hands on them in the summer. You can open them manually inside in case of a power failure, but not from the outside.

Our shower is always full blast, but you can get the water saver adapters. I had to laugh at your description of the technician and his opinion of his own handle work.

I don't like those stores either. I think it is some sort of secret society or something. A guy thing. The world is definitely crazier.


Kanak Hagjer said...

Anything to do with nuts and bolts is intimidating to me! But I loved reading all the 'details' in your post. The world is definitely getting crazier!

Abba's Girl said...

I am cracking up right now...thinking of myself trying to assemble hardware while my husband was gone or just in May when the chain fell off my chainsaw and I could not get it back on the saw and didn't know my saw was out of oil.

Oh well, our men would most likely be out of their element in the china and crystal departments...

Have a blessed day.

Shammickite said...

I have 2 garage doors, both equipped with working handles (and locks with keys) on the outside. I keep the doors locked on the outside, but they can easily be opened by hand from the inside. No automatic openers. When I want to put my car inside, I back up, get out, go in the garage through the side door, open the big door, back in, then out of the car again to shut the big door! It keeps me fit!!!
So now I shall have to look at garage doors more closely to see if anyone else has handles or if my neighbours all live in the world of electric convenience.

Maggie May said...

This is progress. You have to get with it. You don't need settings and handles in this new day & age!

Wendy said...

Hi Betsy, oh, I thought it was funny too - well, a bit after the fact. I guess I should really check out the shower handle somewhere else. It's just the thought of having it installed all over again!! So we're both into new garage doors at the same time! Ha! You're lucky you don't have ice and snow.
Enjoy the weekend!

Hi Florida Sue, so you know exactly what I'm talking about. Darn ice!! Think I'll spend my winters with you. LOL!

Hi Kanak, I think so too!

Hi Annette - oh my gawd, you don't use a chainsaw???? Yikes! You are brave!!!!
And you're right, hubby doesn't even know how to cook, much less pick out china. LOL!

Hi shammickite - must not be too much fun in the winter! Oh well, as you say, it keeps you fit! Strange how we don't really notice details like garage door handles until we need to. Have a fun weekend!

Cheryl said...

Wendy I am with you...the world is crazy.....I just don't do this 'stuff' .....that is Mr P's job. I cannot imagine how you cope with it all....okay one day, like you, I may have to....but until then I am quite happy for hubby to sort it all out.....

You have got me thinking about garage doors now....I must look when I go into the village......

Rose said...

This is why we procrastinate on every home project:) Everything always turns out to be much more complicated than you expected. I admire you for managing all this, Wendy. When I go into a hardware store, I think the salespeople must see "dummy" written all over my face:)

peppylady said...

Your moving right up town now. We don't even have a garage to put our rigs in. Plus if he did I would guess I would have to put newspapers down just in case they had an accident.

Not long a go we go new kitchen faucets and boy all sort of choice and prices.

Coffee is on.

JeanMac said...

Your story sounds familiar! Maybe you can get one of those shower "reducer" heads.

marmee said...

one thing i know for sure...the world is getting crazier!

beckie said...

I'll bet you are noticing more of the details these days. :) Loved your stories-you tell them so well. Thanks for the smiles!

Celia said...

Great tale of life in this century. Many of the people working in those stores don't know how things work either. I'm off to survey garage doors. lol

Q said...

Dear Wendy,
I do think the world is getting crazier and crazier...
I like the simple ways...
Thanks for the laughs.

Mark said...

It is funny the details that we take for granted. Thanks for sharing yours.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Ain't it the truth? I guess they have figured out how to make things more complicated and make more money in the process! Arg!

Funny story though--it's the little things you never think of and we all take for granted.

amelia said...

I hope you have all your problems sorted by now. I'm a little late catching up with everyone! Our dogs got me up at five this morning so I thought I'd spend some time at the computer, now I'm ready to go back to bed!!
I love your sense of humour, it can't always be easy keeping on the funny side of things.

Grammy said...

Hi Wendy, I find it best to keep the old shower heads if you can as new ones change so much. I learned that the hard way too. As I found the water savers to mot be enough water to rinse off quickly. So I use a shower massage to change the water flow. You can get a mist or a stream with it.

Shammickite said...

Happy Canada Day, Wendy!

Beverly said...

Hi, Wendy,
I, too, am one of the most unobservant people in the world. Your story is great!