Looking for answers to life's questions

I’ve spent a great deal of time lately scanning old pictures into my computer. It’s a small step outside of the cave. I decided to share a few. While I was out of my cave, my daughter asked me to go with her to pick up a new battery for her car. It was recommended by the mechanic that changed the ball joints on her 15-year-old vehicle. She expected that buying the battery on her own would save her some money as the repairs had been quite costly. It never crossed my mind that Costco did not install batteries.

My daughter is what I think of as a typical girly girl. She was always very delicate in her manner and definitely not athletic in any way. Dress up was fun for her and tea parties were a favorite past-time. Nothing has changed in that area. We still hunt down tea houses where ever we go.

One of many dress up tea parties. Hats are essential.

One of many dress up tea parties. Hats are essential.

Her brother was always fairly typical of a boy. He loved to be athletic and climb things. Anything with wheels and wings drew his attention. Tearing things apart and putting them back together would entrance him for days at a time. There were a few years where he commuted between states weekly, rode a motorcycle and took flying lessons to get his own pilots license. I prayed a lot.

Most boys dream, playing with engines. No changes there.

Most boys dream, playing with engines. No changes there.

When my daughter found out they would not install the battery, my first inclination was to not buy it and go somewhere and pay the extra to get it done. My daughter looked at me and said “I can do it.” So out to the parking lot we went. She dug out her tools and started working to get the old battery out. Then there were bolts at the bottom holding it down. Her tools wouldn’t reach. Tightening up the battery again she drove her car up to the tire center to ask if they had a tool she could use. They were quite helpful but nothing they had worked either. I suggested taking the battery back. “No way” she said. “I can’t be caught without the proper tools to do this so we will go to find them.” Off to Sears we went. I leaned on my cane as she perused the tool aisles like she knew what she was doing. Obviously, she did. Within the half hour and well before dark, she used her new tools to pulled out the old battery and replaced it. We then returned to Costco to turn in the old battery for the core refund. I cannot tell you in proper words the look on her face as she completed her task. That “I did it myself and I can do anything” look, sent a swell of pride through me. There was no way to capture it on a camera. Besides, the hood was still up on the car.

Now to be fair, my son is no slacker. He cooks his own meals, does his own laundry, cleaning and dishes even while tiling his bathroom with skills he’s learning on the internet. I think there are basic differences. He’d rather do the tinkering on his car and she’d rather have a tea party. But when it comes down to it, they both realize it’s essential to know the basics of life. Know how to take care of your vehicle and how to feed yourself. There might not always be someone there to help. I wonder where they got that from?

Ok, I've changed the spark plugs, can you pull me up now?

Ok, I’ve changed the spark plugs, can you pull me up now?

“The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of Similarities in Boys and Girls" (7)

  1. Sounds like they learned something from you. I met someone nearly 25 years ago who never learned to take care of himself and vowed that would never be one of my sons. I didn’t want them to feel they had to marry or latch on to someone to fill their needs. They can both do anything they put their minds to as a result, oh and they are both great cooks.


  2. Great story Marlene, thanks for sharing that. Alys and I were just talking about being ‘can do’ girls. Although we were talking about falling off of ladders LOL. I was the only girl of 4, My dad (now my brothers) had every tool ever made and it’s good to know your way around the shop. Saved my butt more than once.


    • I miss having tools, My ex kept everything. I’m putting them on birthday and Christmas lists. After I get a house of course. One day I’ll write the story about the brakes. 🙂 I’ve never fallen off a ladder…so far. Now I’m thinking of when I painted the stairwell on rigged scaffolding!


      • The ex’s…..urg, we do have that in common. Scaffolding is a big help. I don’t know if you were following when I wrote a story about our old house. It was a Lindel Cedar Home with a giant A frame roof. We painted several times over 25 years and always used scaffolding but I’d still be up there with knees shaking since I’m not cool with hight’s. That’s one good thing about renting, someone else gets to do all that stuff 😀 I’ll watch for that ‘brakes’ story.


  3. I would say you’ve raised them both to be strong, independent and inquisitive people. Well done. Kudos to all of you. It’s interesting what we’re drawn to, the whole nature-nurture debate. I agree that it’s good to be as well-rounded as possible. I grew up without a dad or brothers, so I really missed out on the tribal knowledge that would come with that. I’m floored at all the things my husband knows, learned at the feet of his own dad: electrical, plumbing, basic car repair, carpentry, circuitry and of course he’s a whiz on all things computer related. I wish those things came easier for me.


    • Thank you Alys. I am very proud of my children more for their kind hearts and generous nature than anything else. My parents believed children were to not be seen,heard, or interacted with. So I learned from husband one and more from husband two. Number two also taught me,my daughter and my son a great deal. I called him yesterday to wish him a happy bd. He was out playing with engines with his daughter, They were both very happy. 🙂


      • Lovely, Marlene. Why live life if not to learn and grow? I’m sorry you had such a distance example at home. So much of previous generations were like that.

        It’s great to hear you can still be in touch, and preserve the positives from your marriage. It can’t always be easy.

        Kind and generous rate highly in my book. If my boys leave home with nothing else, I hope it will be that.



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