Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Mom helped me fix the vacuum cleaner

A walk along the Jordan River Parkway in the last year of my mom's life
with Jessica & Sarah my daughters and our dog Daisy
The title of this blog entry would keep you wondering about how my mother, who passed away in July of 2004 could have helped me fix my vacuum cleaner?  I do think it deserves some background and explanation.  I came home from work and received report that when Sarah had tried to use the vacuum earlier that day, it began to spark where the cord goes into the vacuum and quit on her.  While the vacuum doesn't owe us a lot, it wasn't something high on my list to replace and I had other places where the money could go.  I decided to take a look at it, and began to see where the cord had become separated and a wire broke.  I took the back off, cut the wire, re-spliced it and placed that new connection within the protective area and shortened the cord by about 4 inches and secured it into the vacuum, just like new.  Before putting the cover back on, the thought hit me, that it was my mother who had the insight for me to learn and the patience to work with me, that gave me the confidence to fix it.  I cried a little with gratitude for having such a great mom, who taught me to have the confidence and knowledge to face life.

Growing up in home where my father had died when I was 10, I was faced numerous times with things that were broken in the house or projects that either my mom wanted done or something I wanted to tackle.  It was not uncommon when I needed something, for my mom to put me in the car, take me either to Samons Plumbing Supply located on 900 W where a grocery store now exists, or Sutherland Lumber over on Redwood Road.  She wouldn't have any idea generally what I was buying, but would let me try and figure it out and then pay for it at the cash register.  I sometimes would end back there two or three times during a project.  Mom was always willing to let us try and fix it and try more than common sense would suggest.

Seems like we were always engaged in a project.  This was a time with my
Mom, my nephew Evan and nieces Noelle and Emily as we cleaned out
my Dad's home in Richfield after my Step-Grandmother passed away.  I drove
this 1964 GMC truck during High  School (the gas gauges never worked).
Mom always liked to have a truck around
Sometimes, I would get frustrated with a plumbing or electrical project and tell my mom to call Frank Dahn, a plumber who was a retired firefighter, or my uncle, MC Laird to see if they would come fix the problem.  Half the time, they would instruct her to put me on the phone, indicating that I could fix it and try and talk me through it and then would say, "Call me back if you can't get it".  In the case of Frank, didn't he ever want to have a paid job!  Frequently I would then figure it out, and we would be on our way.  Years later, I realized both had the insight to see a widow who needed help and then training me was a way for them to succeed in doing so.

In the years that followed my father's death, Mom had three rental homes and a basement apartment.  I ended up fixing a lot of things over the years, and later would help wire a garage, greenhouse, or assist siblings, family or friends with their remodel projects.  I will on occasion see a need with some of the single women I home teach in the Mormon Church and really it's my mom helping to do the work.

For the record, the vacuum is running well and lives to see another day.  While Mom never was that mechanically inclined, she knew how to raise children to think for themselves. I just wanted to tell Mom thanks for helping me to fix the vacuum.
Mom at the demolition of the Court House on Library Square in preparation
for the construction of the new Main Library.  I'm holding Sarah as a baby.
Mom participated in the Mayor's Capitol Advisory Board that led to the
building of a bunch of facilities I ended up tearing down!

1 comment:

  1. Great story. I love that she let you go into the store, figure out what to buy and then let you buy it. A good lesson for me to be patient and let my kids figure out how to do things themselves, even though it might take much longer. Thanks!