Wednesday, January 5, 2011
"M" is for Maintenance - Alphabe-Thursday
This is probably more about Mr. Outback who easily admits to being a Maintenance "nut." I don't know if he always was so devoted to Maintenance...he was majoring in geology at Carolina-Chapel Hill when Vietnam interrupted all our lives. Knowing he would probably be better off flying above the jungle rather than crawling through the undergrowth or living in a tank, he chose to be a helicopter pilot. Somehow he also found time to go through aircraft maintenance classes and the Army, being what it is, drilled into each person the concept of Preventive Maintenance. I think that is where the foundation was laid. I had no idea then how it would impact my own life.
Fast forward through the years - being part of the RIF (Reduction In Forces) our lives shifted from military bases in the South to North Central Wisconsin and an introduction to civilian living. Mr. Outback secured a future with Weyerhaeuser and eventually became a "Planner" - right up his alley! He could plan upcoming maintenance jobs in the mill to his hearts content (or until he grew tired of the whole thing and retire). His skills became so fine turned that I began to notice the atmosphere around the homefront going through changes. The glove box of each vehicle always held a little log book...recording each gas fill-up, tire rotation or repair service. Appliances, furnace upkeep, when was the last time the holding tanks were pumped? Balancing the checkbooks & online bill paying, all moved to the computer as Mr. Outback felt it would be easier to "maintain." He was right, of course! He has a pretty impressive tool collection - one never knows when something will need Maintenance...and require a specific tool. Our nearby neighbors know which door to knock on when something comes up...and the list goes on...RV maintenance, when were the brakes gone over; our "rolling stock" i.e. the lawnmowers, 4 wheeler, etc.; maintenance on the house - upkeep on a log home - how many tubes of caulking are on hand. It is enough to make a person's head swim - particularly if she is not as diligent about that sort of detail. Slowly, I am learning...I save receipts, copies of crucial emails or notes from a phone conversation. I even have a special folder for Maintenance regarding my 2 Berninas. At one point, there was a little tablet with the batting inventory I had - types, sizes, etc. That kind of went out the window though when one of my stitching buddies suggested (in a gentle way) I had gone over the edge! And I do keep a garden journal each year which I find beneficial when ordering new seeds or tracking growth habits and maturity of veggies. So, unlike Mr. Outback, there seems to be a limit to my own level of Maintenance. And I will never keep a 3 x 5 card file of every piece of fabric in my stash, as suggested by Martha Steward a few years ago. Clearly, she is not a quilter...though she certainly gives the impression as being the Queen of Maintenance.
The word Maintenance stems from Maintain, of course - meaning to carry on, to keep in repair; to declare as true or Support. I am fortunate to be married to Mr. Outback - because he definitely does all of the above and then some....even if it drives me a little nuts sometimes.
Be sure to visit the other folks who are participating in Alphabe-Thursday over at Jenny Matlock's.