Tuesday, May 10, 2011

a new level of love

While i was at my mom's house i found a whole new level of love: i love you so much i'll rescreen your door. You see, my mom -like many Floridians- has a screened-in porch off of her living room. Years ago my dad and uncle put new screening into all of the panels, but the screen on the bottom of the door had ripped from age and weather. I saw the rip when i was there in February, but had bigger things on my mind so i knew that this trip i wanted to do a repair. Basically, only one corner had ripped so i figured i would just use my best friend -duct tape- to do an unpretty but functional repair. Unfortunately in the ensuing time, the entire bottom had ripped out.
Okay, when dad and Uncle Jim did this before i remember that they bought a special little wheelee tool that zipped the screen into the channel. I also remember that they were amazed at how easy it was to do, so when i saw that mom had bought a new piece of screen i figured i'd give it a go.
But she didn't know where the zippy wheel was.
One afternoon while she was napping i went into the shed and searched and searched and searched. i found what i believed might be the wheelee thing in the back of a box marked pliers; you know, exactly where one would look for it.
Okay, i've got screen and i've got a wheelee-ma-jig; let's see how they go together.
In trying to get out the old screen i found that there was some rubber stripping holding the screen into the channels.
Back to the shed we go.
 I found several different sizes and shapes of black rubber stripping that might or might not be the right stuff so i  took it all to the work site. After comparing the old, shrivelled, sun-damaged, nasty stripping to the various items at hand i decided that one of them was indeed the correct stuff.

Now for the, according to my male elders, easy part: line up the screen and the rubber strip stuff [in relating this story to my father her informed me that the rubber stripping is called spline; yes, s-p-l-i-n-e. spline. say it out loud: SPLINE. Sounds like he made that up, right?], and zip right down with the wheelee [no word on a made up name for this one] and ta-da, you've got a screen in place.
It's that easy?
Of course it isn't that easy.
The screen needs to be held in place and then pulled taut. The spline has to be held in place and then fed into the channel. Someone has the use the wheelee-o, plus cut the spline in the correct place because it is not one continuous channel, but a separate channel for each of the four sides.
That's at least 5 hands by my count, leaving Niki a few appendages short.
But, i am a tool user so i ran back to the shed to grab some extra-wide painters tape [my beloved duct tape would have been too adhesivey] to be one set of hands, used my knee as the pulling hand and eyeballed the spline to cut it to the correct length before i started to wheel it.
That should have solved all the problems, right?
Of course not, silly-billy.
You see, the spline has 2 sides that are barely, almost imperceptibly different. Plus it seems to matter which side of the channel you start it on. OH, and if you wheelee too hard you can cut the screen accidentally, negating the purpose of putting in new screen all together.
After many, many trials and errors i finally got the hang of it. I was able to repair the door and put new spline in the panel next to it as well.
Sooooooo, if you really, really, really love someone you should use the phrase, I love you enough to rescreen your door.
Or if you've come to the point in the proceedings where you need to tell someone that perhaps this relationship isn't going to make the long haul you could say something like, I really enjoy spending time with you and you make a dynamite chicken marsala, but let's face it, i'm just not going to rescreen your porch.
For myself, i think that rescreening the door might be a level of love that only applies to someone who actually grew me in their body.
Honestly, it was almost as good as flowers for Mother's Day.
[needless to say, this definitely counts as a new thing]
[i'd also like to go on record that i did this entire project while wearing a sundress; that has to count extra, dontch think?]

1 comment:

Never Too Busy said...

Putting in screed is deceptively complicated. I had to do it for a show one and in the end I just decided to staple the screen in!