Thursday, November 27, 2008

How to Host Your First Thanksgiving: Part IV

Neil is Mr. Fix-it.

I think that he may have doubted his abilities to repair things and figure out the homeowner day-to-day when we first moved into this house. But just like anyone else in a situation, he’s really finding his way. And I couldn’t be more grateful.

First there was the leaky faucet in the downstairs bathroom. It was at the top of our to-do, but we just didn’t know enough about plumbing to get that thing fixed. So, in the meantime, we collected the drippings in a cup and used it to water plants all summer. No harm, no foul, right?

Well, summer ended, but the dripping did not.

Nino came over to help, and, between the two of them, they managed to take the thing apart and figure out which part was broken. Neil located the name and number of the part, which wasn’t available in any of our local hardware stores (large or small), and buy it online. A few twists, turns and shakes later: no more drips.

Then there was the oven. Some time over the summer, our stove decided that it hated us. It would wake up in the middle of the night and start screaming. The thing would beep-beep-beep so loud with an F1 error message that we didn’t understand. We weren’t sure how to get it to stop or what to do about it. Finally we unplugged the oven and only plugged it back in when we needed the burners.

Which meant no baking, at all, for quite some time.

That big no-no really put a kink in my cooking style. And as Thanksgiving approached, we were getting a little nervous about our inaction. The big deal: the repair of the temperature gauge that was causing the problem was a $150-$300 fix, which weren’t sure we wanted to make. So, we tossed around whether to buy a new stove for a few months until I decided I’d hold out for my Cornu Fe or Viking in a couple years.

One call to the Maytag man later, we had a guy come out to look at the thing to tell us what F1 meant (we already knew, thanks to Google) and what needed to be fixed. It would have cost more than $300 to fix if Neil hadn’t cajoled the repairman to just point out the piece that needed to be replaced and where to buy the part.

Neil headed to V&V in Euclid on a day off to buy a temperature gauge, replaced the part and put our stove back together. It has worked beautifully ever since and extended the time I have to save up for my dream stove.

Who knew I had shacked up with Mr. Fix-it? What’s more is that he did a magical job on our white tiled floors… and he cleans up after I cook. Here’s to Thanksgiving!