Safety near the front of line.

FutureWe bought a lot of stuff to be done over the summer and I am slowly working my way through the list. My latest job is I got the two safety bars into the bathtub. I have heard it said that the way to stay financially solvent is to be very careful to distinguish want from need. I have found a good way to spot need is when you don’t really want it but you know you should.

Part of the reason I didn’t want to install these is that they remind me of old age, which is creeping up on us, and getting feeble, which I actually worry about more than dying. However, one of us already took a bad fall and at our age we’re entitled to a little extra security. And then again I know a woman who fell in her bathtub and broke her leg in a most awkward fashion and it was two years, four surgeries and months of physiotherapy before she could walk without a cane. She was 32 years old and an athlete. She had to pay to have her safety bars installed after that because she couldn’t manage herself. Now if I fall and hurt myself and need a long rehab, I won’t have to hire someone to install the bars before I can go home.

These safety bars are not cheap but I got some from the Sears Clearance catalogue so they cost me about half of buying anywhere else. They do the job just fine. They have been sitting in the bathroom in their box staring at me, making me feel guilty, since they arrived about a month ago. They should have gone in sooner. They were really more important than lights, tomato plants, curtains and new door knobs. Now they are installed, gleaming and all proud looking smug, finally.

These safety bars were a real pain to install. First I had to find the stud. The bathroom walls are done with plywood so the stud finder didn’t work. I kind of guessed based on the construction I viewed while checking out the support for the ceiling light. Then I had to drill a hole which turned out to be two holes. That is a two step procedure because the screws are a bit thicker than space between the tiles. This meant I had to first drill a hole through the porcelain. Fortunately, one of our cement cement bits worked very well. Then I needed to change the bit on the drill so it went into the stud. I ended by slathering up the big screws with bathroom silicon so that when they were screwed in, they were also sealed against water. The result is some very securely installed safety bars. I wouldn’t recommend climbing on them, but they are perfectly secure for grabbing.

Oh and I had one very nice experience. An old timer in town asked me how I liked my little house. I told her I loved it. Someone had built it right and I told her about how I had installed the ceiling fan and how well put together the house is and how much I appreciate the excellent craftsmanship.

“My brother built that house,” she said with a huge grin.

So thank you to the late Mr. Ben Lashewicz, a thoroughly competent builder, who built our little house in 1961. I appreciate your work. He built it for his daughter Patsy. Later on another Lashewicz lived in it. And it remained in the family, changing hands as the family grew, until recently. I just knew this was a much loved little home. One can feel such things.

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