I have to admit I love duct tape. Last night, I was talking with my husband and one of our friends about one of the gutters on the backside of our house. It likes to leak. (One of my neighbor's solution to their leaky gutter was just to take it down!) So last year, I wrapped a piece of duct tape around it to seal it. I had to redo it a few weeks ago to reseal it, but the duct tape has worked great.
I used it again this morning. On my dryer. It has had this funny quirk lately. The door pops open just slightly sometimes when clothes push against it--turning it off. So, I decided to try duct tape. I placed a piece on the door to hold it more securely to the dryer. It worked! I have been able to use and reuse the same piece for several loads. I am thankful! My dryer shall live on without major repair for a little longer...
When I was a kid, I didn't learn anything about repairing or taking care of houses. But, as an adult, I've needed to learn all sorts of things. I have found that it feels better to fix something than to throw it away. To reuse, rather than buy anew. I've also found that it's often easy to think what our culture tells us every day through the advertising that perpetually permeates our lives-- "if something breaks, go get a new one."
My husband's favorite books are Shopclass as Soulcraft and the second book by the same author, Matthew B. Crawford. Shopclass is a book about doing. We live in a world that is becoming more and more disposable and virtual reality has become true reality in most people's minds. Video Games are preferred to real "doing" things. There are good reasons for this--skiing on a video game is cheaper than going skiing. A driving game is cheaper than big R/C cars. But, it's not just that video games and the like are cheaper--they're more convenient. Kids can do them on their own instead of needing parental help and involvement.
Recently, my husband wanted me to watch a documentary titled Crafted, a film by Morgan Spurlock. It's a short film about doing, not just living vicariously through technology. Spurlock interviews some knife makers, potters, and other other artisans. The first time my husband saw it, he wondered if we were pursuing the type of art in any way in our lives as a family. After the second time watching it, my husband explained that we are. We cook food from scratch, seek to reuse and repurpose items in our home, I write curriculum for my kids' schooling, he enjoys playing the piano as much as his fingers allow him to...
This weekend we went to a hobby shop and purchased large Radio Control (R/C) cars for our kids to enjoy with my husband. He loved R/C cars in high school and understood the ins and outs of them. The kids had a lot of fun with them. Our plan this week is for them to build a track in our backyard for the cars. I asked one of my kids afterwards which was better--MarioKart or the R/C cars. There was no question in my child's mind--R/C won hands down!
I find that it takes energy to do, but that it is more rewarding. It's easy to fear for our culture that we are turning into a people lost in tech, but weekends like this past one encourage me to remember that many people are choosing to do. The hobby shops were getting shoppers--they weren't empty. So, now my mind is turning to ways I can foster the desire to "do" in my kids--showing them the appeal of doing!