“I found myself catching a dose of Jack’s Disease”, I told Pat when she asked the other day how repairs to the family home were going. We laughed because there has been a long-term joke in my family about how much Jack swears when he does “do it yourself”.
He turned 82 this week, and the older he gets the worse the swearing has become. Mostly it’s due to his declining eyesight and failing memory. As we’ve been working together on repairs to the family home this week, I’ve found myself becoming his “eyes” and “memory bank” for the things he could previously do himself.
This week I have also become consciously aware of my own do-it-yourself shortcomings. Although I’m pretty good with electricals, installations, antennas and IT, I’m hopeless with an electric drill. My attempts to do anything carpentry-based have been a complete failure. Hence, the swearing.
Although we’re not there yet, every day marks a day closer to Pat, Jack and Sam returning home. We’ve concluded the priority is to make the house liveable, and maybe get to some of the finer points of home furnishings later on. Get the kitchen ready, get the bathrooms ready, and after that, you’re pretty much okay.
But it hasn’t been only a week of do-it-yourself.
There’s also been a bit of socialising, including catching up with my long-term friend, Paul. This morning, we spent a few hours at the markets at Lismore’s “Quad”, an area in the centre of town near the Art Gallery. He’s better known around Lismore these days than I am, as he’s a local dairy farmer and cheese maker. But even so, we ran into the younger brother (and his wife) of a good friend of ours, and it turns out Paul also knows a man who was once married to a friend of mine from my days in Wagga.
With so few shops open, and so little activity going on in the Lismore CBD the markets delivered a great moment of joy.
The other thing which gives me great joy has been seeing all of the “hearts” on buildings throughout the city. The “heart” has been in the logo for Lismore for a number of years, but has really been adopted strongly since the flood, both for businesses and homes,