Remember When #2 — The Nuts and Bolts of It All

DaGoddess @ 00:21

Each Monday, we’d love to have you join us here and at Toy. We feature a visual prompt that will hopefully stir you to remember something — something grand or something simple and plain — write what you feel. Just let yourself go and rememebr when.

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Nuts and Bolts

There are always all these nuts and bolts holding our lives together. Keeping us from being flung from cars, off bikes, or from falling down from the treehouse. Did/do we pay attention to them? Or were/are we only interested if it meant time helping Dad?

I loved helping my dad with anything and everything when I was a little girl. There was something special about it and it felt like a great big fun secret when we’d run out to the hardware store to buy something, or to the junkyard to see if something else we didn’t necessarily need but might someday come in handy was available.

The hours spent driving around, digging through dirty and greasy-smelling hardware doesn’t really seem all that girly, but I didn’t care. I was spending time with my dad. If I was lucky, our outings included a donut or a milkshake, a stop (that would allow us to linger) to see friends, hot dogs, and usually some little trinket unrelated to the project that was meant solely for me. Maybe it was a rock or a sprocket or a spring or a candybar. It didn’t matter. It was from my dad and it was all about the day we spent together.

One of my favorite memories were of us working on one of my dad’s antique cars. My job was to hand him tools, which meant I needed to know the difference between a flathead and a Phillip’s screwdriver and to know what a hammer, a torque wrench, and a grease gun, etc. And then there came the moment for my favorite job of all: bleeding the breaks. That put me directly in the driver’s seat. Okay, due to my age, it was more like me trying to sit on the seat and reach my legs far enough, but more often than not resulted in me sitting on the floor of the car and pushing pedals. I loved the quick and easy push push push of the beginning of the job. As the air was bled out, though, the resistance increased and I’d have to push harder — puuuush puuuush. Then there’d inevitably come another round of push push push, followed but puuuuuuuush puuuuuush. The whole time, I’d have to listen for my dad’s voice so I would know what was coming up next.

There were days when we got very little done and other days when it seemed like we’d just built an entire car from the ground up. The memory allows what the memory allows.

This was a bit of a ritual with my dad, though when we moved to California, we definitely spent less time together in the garage. Still, when the opportunity arose, I was there because it was “our time” and I didn’t want to give that up. I’d even fight my little sister for the easy, meaningless jobs just to hang out.

Of course, it wasn’t always fun and games. There was an incident. Whilst waiting for my dad to come out and get to work, I did the one thing I was told never to do: I pushed the button that started the car. (Yes, a button starter.) The car started and I jumped! My dad came running out of the house, knowing what I’d done and praying I hadn’t hurt myself or anything around me (the car, mostly). I lied, I cried, I wanted to die. In the end, I got a mild grumbly lecture on safety and listening to my parents and then what passed as a hug.

Life moves quickly as you start growing up, though, and time for working on cars with my dad fell by the wayside as my world began to include things like softball and friends, more friends, and later with trouble. To be fair, my dad was busy trying to keep food on the table and his schedule became crazier over the years.

I miss those days. I miss those opportunities to spend time with my dad, to learn basic car repair, and to be the princess of the garage. It was OUR time and it was special. I never want to forget it either. These days, every nut and bolt and air filter and bottle of oil reminds me of a simpler time, a happier time.

Remember When


  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

    Comment by Randy Nichols — 2009/10/05 @ 00:32

  2. Oh, wow. I did the same thing with my Dad!! Wonderful tribute – you two shared such a special relationship.

    I dunno… but I think people forget things when they grow up… like how special it can be for their kids to just do simple tasks…

    Thanks for the memories, Joanie! :hug:

    Comment by Pam — 2009/10/05 @ 07:17

  3. people do forget and that’s why I want to start writing them down so that I don’t forget…so I can pass along activities and events to my kids.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/10/05 @ 08:58

  4. Gosh Joanie, when I saw the prompt was nuts and bolts, I was *flabbergasted*?
    I keep my dad’s tools and trinkets in my sunroom on display. There is something about tools that draws me and I suppose it’s those memories.

    I never, never in a million years would have imagined you to be the same. This prompt made me realize just how many commonalities there are between us all. Sometimes I think we look for differences and then fail to see what we share with others.

    Thank you Joanie.

    Comment by mannequin — 2009/10/05 @ 09:13

  5. This is what makes it all so precious to me, Mannequin. We discover how similar we are or how we’ve experienced similar things and it brings us closer.

    I still think we were somehow separated at birth a la The Parent Trap. Too many things in common!


    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/10/05 @ 09:21

  6. […] the new installment picture for the on-going meme “Remember When” (thanks to Da Goddess and […]

    Pingback by House of Zathras » Blog Archive » Baby Bolts, where are you? — 2009/10/06 @ 15:01

  7. What a beautiful post. Dads can be pretty good fellows!

    Comment by Mrs. Who — 2009/10/06 @ 15:02

  8. Absolutely, Mrs. Who. And it’s easy to forget. That’s why I’m intent on remembering as much as possible before I lose my mind completely.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/10/06 @ 20:20

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