The Pryor Times

Opinion

March 22, 2014

My brother is the bomb

PRYOR, OK — My brother is the bomb.

I know - yours is, too. But really, mine can do most anything.

From the time I bought my place nearly 20 years ago, he has built fence (both pipe and wire), put up buildings, painted my house, built my deck, skinned my bunkhouse with tin taken off old sheds, built and hung gates.

And that’s just a start.

It doesn’t count spraying pastures, cutting brush, replacing rotted house trim and making an entire horse’s leg stay wrapped (from body to hoof).

Then there are all the things he’s talked me through on the phone.

“My truck won’t start. The cables are clean and well connected.” Since that’s about all I know aside from making sure it’s got fuel, he always has his work cut out for him.

“How do I put this deck back on the lawn mower? How do I put the blades back on the lawn mower?”

“The water is frozen where it goes into the hot water tank.”

“There’s water pouring out of the hot water tank.”

“My trailer lights won’t work.”

Keith gives me step-by-step instructions. He tells me which tools to use (since he knows exactly which ones I have). He tells me how to use items I’d never thought of to fix all kinds of things.

A couple of weeks ago, I got up, went to the kitchen for coffee and puttered around in there awhile. When I returned to the bedroom, the center beam (with lighted ceiling fan attached) had fallen from one end half way down the wall.

I did have sense enough to figure out the first thing was to throw the breaker.

And, of course, the very next thing to do was to call Keith.

He told me two ways to prop up the beam (knowing things I had available). I was able to manage that.

He also told me that since the weather forecast was for ice and snow, that I might have to endure this mess a while longer, but he would be here to fix it in two weeks.

I congratulated him on calling the weather exactly right. Ice, snow, cold.

The next weekend the weather was fine on Friday. When we got up Saturday, it was raining and cold. Things were going to get worse. The rain would turn to sleet.

Still, we were off to get materials in the horse trailer where they could stay dry.

Keith pulls his tools (including table saw) in a trailer behind his welding truck. The trailer was not nearly long enough to saw the pieces inside, so he ended up putting the saw in the horse trailer. He covered the ends of the waiting boards with garbage bags because the waiting lumber stuck outside the trailer a bit.

He built a new, rough-cedar, three-sided beam. Since none of that work can be done in gloves, occasionally he would come in to warm his hands which were so cold he could hardly close them.

When beam and trim were ready, he passed them through the window. He tore the old mess down and put up all the new wood without moving any of the furniture and, really, with hardly any mess. Rewired the ceiling fan while standing on the bed.

The whole job was done while it was cold and sleeting. Downright miserable.

It’s beautiful. Much nicer than the original.

When he’s at my house, Keith is the fixer.

“I think the belt is off my vacuum cleaner and I can’t figure out how to get to it,” I said while trying to clean up the sawdust.

Keith put the belt back on in no time.

Keith is an equal opportunity fixer. He helps my boyfriend, Mike, too.

“I guess I just need a new charger for my drill,” Mike told Keith.

While we watched television that night, Keith took the charger apart and somewhere deep in the middle he found a blown fuse. Mike replaced the fuse (at a cost less than a dollar) and the charger works fine.

The next morning, Keith got Mike’s welder going and figured out how to get it off the flatbed and into the horse shoeing trailer without a tractor - quite a trick since both of them together couldn’t lift it.

It seems that whatever needs building or fixing, Keith can do it. There’s no way to say how much he’s done for me. His knowledge and abilities seem endless.

I know - everyone thinks they have a great brother.

But really, my brother is the bomb.

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