The Funny Way I Learned to be Resourceful

I was having an amusing recollection the other night, discussing with my mom how sensitive I am to my house being untidy.  I know precisely what needs to be done, and I truly have trouble sleeping if I know there are dishes piled up in the sink!

My husband does not share this problem. He is very content, very comfortable whether the house is spotless or a little untidy. However, if we have a cupboard door in need of repair or something wrong with an appliance, it bothers him tremendously. A duct-tape solution does not appease him, he wants a true fix. And it is funny to me that I am not troubled by those things.

I remember the house I grew up in very well. It was less than 1000 square feet, one functional bathroom, 6 people in the house. Cramped quarters is an understatement. The house was built in the 1930s and had all the beautiful charms of a pre-WWII home, with stucco and archways and high windows. It also, however, wasn't built for modern inventions such as dishwashers or high powered modern day washing machines.

Each time we ran the dishwasher, we had to pull it from it's spot (on wheels) and pull it to the sink, connect the hose to the faucet and let it run from there.  Each time we ran the washing machine, on the rinse cycles when the washer would drain, we would have to run to "catch" it in time, to lift the lid and let it slowly release into the basement drain - left unchecked, the entire basement would flood with rinse water!

Our front door "broke" one time - an old door, heavy, with an old handle on it - and it broke in such a way that it couldn't lock correctly. My parents worried more about feeding their kids than getting a new door, so they improvised. They took a kitchen knife and inserted it into the door in such a way that it "locked" the door for us. From that day on, we were backdoor people. I can't recall ever having a friend come in through our front door.

I lived in a basement bedroom almost my entire childhood, and early on the heavy old knob to the door broke and couldn't reconnect. So essentially I had to take the long side (the piece with the knob and the metal spoke that went through the door) and have that on hand at all times to get in and out of my bedroom.  If I misplaced it, well, I soon discovered a pair of scissors could break me into my bedroom just fine. Years passed, friends certainly thought this was weird, but I never once took exception to having to do this. It worked, and that was all that mattered to me.

My husband would look at all of these things now as a huge inconvenience to our lives if we were having to manage them now, and truthfully, I probably would as well.  But I often think back to those times as the times where I most learned about resourcefulness.  When something goes wrong in my current house, I can usually jimmy together some type of quick fix to make things work until we can get a true repair. And the funny thing is, they still don't bother me to do them.

I am not sure if resourcefulness is something you are born to be or if you can become it, but I do believe my parents example of demonstrating practical resourcefulness rubbed off on all their children. Perhaps we learned it by example. But I am thankful that I can see a problem, and see past the tools at hand to the creative approach that maybe isn't a true fix, but something that can suffice until a fix can be found or afforded.

Maybe we are really the poster children of the "you might be a redneck if..." descriptions, but I think we make ourselves pretty useful when disaster strikes and all you have is rope and tape. I'm confident that we can find a way!