This is my fourth and final episode of my most recent adventures with Grandpa. Stay tuned, because I’m sure there will be many more in the future!
In our last episode, Grandpa and I had just returned from our trip to Arizona. We left St. John fairly late in the day, so we didn’t get back to Las Vegas until around midnight that night. We staggered inside, Jimmy helped us unload the car, and we all fell into bed. As mentioned earlier, Gina was already in Vegas to cover Lincoln County High School’s track and baseball state competitions for the Caliente Blab. The plan was that Dad and Gina would be spending Sunday with us and then go home early on Monday. Church doesn’t start until 1:00 PM, so we could sleep in a bit before having to get ready, but of course Dad doesn’t do the sleeping-in thing. At least he didn’t bring his violin this time, so we didn’t have to wake up to a rousing rendition of “Turkey in the Straw.”
A mishap had occurred in Arizona that I haven’t mentioned yet. All of “the boys” were helping April change the oil in her car on Saturday morning. The car was jacked up and well-propped on a tree stump and various other implements to keep it from squishing the person who was lying underneath it. Anyway, at some point Dad decided to bend over and look under the car (probably for coaching purposes). His glasses fell out of his shirt pocket and one of the lenses shattered on the pavement. We are all well familiar with Dad’s lack of hearing, and now his seeing abilities were also badly impaired. He has always had really good vision and was fine for driving (at least I hope he was), but he couldn’t see to read. This had already caused problems on the drive home, because at the Kingman mini-mart restaurant I had to read the entire menu to him at the top of my voice. That was fun for me and everybody else in the building and adjacent parking lot.
Anyway, the lack of glasses also caused a problem that Sunday morning because Dad couldn’t do what he normally does when he gets up on Sunday mornings – read his scriptures and/or church magazines. When I got up, I found him wandering restlessly up and down. Thank heaven for the BYU channel. I turned it on for him and he was set for a while. When the program changed to something he didn’t want to watch, I put on some of the BYU Education Week recordings on my DVR. It kept him busy and out from under foot (either listening or dozing or – as he puts it – “resting his eyes”) for the rest of the morning.
We went to church and came home for a nice meal prepared by Gina. It was Jill’s recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. Anyway, as the evening wore down, I started thinking about whether or not I wanted to hang my pot rack in my kitchen. I have always liked pot racks, and I loved having one in my old house. I had even taken it with me when we moved. I thought Dad had gone off to bed, so I brought it in from the garage and laid it on the kitchen island in different configurations, trying to decide if I wanted to hang it there and if so, where. Centered? On one end? Vertical or horizontal? Would it even look decent? Would it ruin the look of my new kitchen? Decisions, decisions. Well, Dad returned to the kitchen unexpectedly and caught me contemplating the installation. Game over, we were doing it, and he couldn’t leave town until it was done!
The first job was searching through the boxes in the garage, looking for the rest of the pieces and parts. Eventually they were found, but the search may have been slowed by the process of Dad holding up every item he found and asking if I really needed to keep it and the subsequent debate on why it was necessary for life. I’m sure my neighbors appreciated my lengthy, top-of-my-voice explanations (complete with many repeats) on what I planned to do with every gadget and bottle of miracle cleaner (I’m rather fond of both of those categories). I was glad to herd him back into the house after the miraculous discovery of the pot rack pieces and parts.
We returned to the kitchen and Dad began the process of looking for beams in the ceiling to attach the pot rack. Of course I couldn’t locate my stud finder, so he was using the old “tap it with a hammer to listen for solid places” method, something that may be a bit dicey when your hearing isn’t top notch to begin with. Add to this the problem of my dogs misinterpreting the taps as somebody knocking on the front door, producing a mad rush to the front door and a lot of barking. After a lot of tapping (and barking), Dad used my drill with a tiny bit to establish the presence of the beam, and guess what … no beam was found. So, more tapping, barking, and drilling. At some point I finally convinced Dad that we could finish the project in the morning and we all staggered off to bed. Even the dogs were exhausted.
Of course Dad was up early Monday morning. By the time I dragged myself downstairs, Dad was gone to Home Depot. He was gone for a very long time. He later admitted to me that he missed the store down the street and ended up driving across town before he found one. He bought four large eye bolts to attach the pot rack and came back. Of course he had done more tapping and drilling before he left, and I was shocked to see my new ceiling literally covered with small holes. After Dad returned, a small hole became a large one, but there was no beam after all. Another large hole was drilled, and still no beam. I began to fantasize about the Mormon woman’s alcohol alternative – the Hershey bar. Another large hole was created, and my fantasy Hershey bar became a REALLY big one. When we finally found a beam (well recessed, it turned out), the eye bolts Dad had bought were too short to reach it. Another trip to Home Depot was required.
Dad and I climbed into the truck and headed for the store. We bought longer eye bolts, a stud finder, a super-size can of spackle, and a couple of things Dad needed for his surveying business. They only had small Hershey bars, so I bought two. As we started to get back into the truck, I spotted a very large grasshopper on the ground. I have an aversion to bugs of all kinds, so I gave it a wide berth. In my experience, grasshoppers are especially risky. One year we had a pretty big grasshopper infestation here in Vegas, and the short cut through a break area that I take from my car to my office was full of them. For a while I actually thought it was kind of fun walking through there. As you walked along, they would fly in all directions, and it sort of felt like the parting of the Red Sea. Then one day, one of them landed on me. After much screaming and dancing around, I got rid of it, but that ended my walks through there! A new route had to be established. (I’m sure the people whose windows faced that break area had an amusing sight to begin their day.)
Anyway, back at the Home Depot parking lot, Dad spotted my minor detour and instead of unlocking the truck door so I could get inside, he walked around to see what I was avoiding. He stomped his foot, and I swear he tried to make it land on me. It missed, but there was a minor reenactment of the scene outside my office. I had to drive us home because Dad was too weak with laughter to drive. The fun never stops.
We got back home and the project continued. Dad tried using a pencil to mark where the studs started and stopped, but then couldn’t see his marks. Finally I gave him a dry-erase marker to outline the stud locations. I thought it would wash off easily afterwards. A stud was finally found, but then we couldn’t drill through it! The holes were made larger, but we still couldn’t get through it. It appeared that we were hitting something metal instead of wood. Before long, Dad was getting so frustrated with trying to get the eye hooks into the ceiling that he began to try to hammer them in. That's when my recessed cam lights started falling out of the ceiling.
After many holes, large and small, and many, many blue lines criss-crossing the ceiling, the pot rack was finally hung. I pushed the cam lights back up into their little holes and I hope they stay there. The Hershey bars were long gone. We all went out to eat at Dave’s Barbecue and Dad and Gina left. It was 5:00 and the day was gone! I went home and got out my super-size can of spackle. Much to my dismay, I learned that dry erase markers don’t do well on flat paint. The bright blue marks would not wash off. I spackled and painted and painted and painted. Finally I bought a can of “Killz” to cover the markers, and after a couple of coats of that, the blue lines are gone. The pot rack is there to stay and I’d better love it!
Jimmy’s opinion? “I never liked it in the old house.” Well, who asked him?!
3 months ago