By Trina Machacek

Fixing things around the house is a never ending journey. Not big things. Heaven forbid. No, just little things that become entangled in that vacuum of tears and misadventures. A door hinge that is squeaking louder and louder until it screams louder than cats during predictable times of the year. Or tighten up a table leg that’s loose as a goose. Yes a goose.

I like to think of myself as quite able to fix a myriad of things around my house. I mean I have tools, even power tools. How much trouble could a screwdriver, scribe and skill saw get me into. Oh walk this walk with me.

I have a wonderful friend who has a home in Idaho that I drool over when I visit. Of all the amazing things she has decorated with there is one tiny thing that I love. A tiny clock that doubles as a night light. It plugs right into the outlet in the bathroom. How cool is that? It tick ticks along lighting the dark with a mystical green glow. It’s very cool to me. I am a self anointed “smalls” collector of goodies. Little things catch my eye and make me happy. So this little clock light causes me to smile. As coveting as it sounds, I WANTED ONE.

She knows I want one. I tell her every time I see her. I’ve looked and scoured high and low for one and finally a few months ago I stumbled upon one while shopping on line. Be still my heart. It wasn’t exactly like hers but close enough. I ordered it and waited with happy anticipation. I know, I know. I need to get out more if a little clock that plugs into an outlet glowing green in my bathroom makes me that happy. But! Yes a ticking “but.” I checked the progress of that little clock’s journey to my house daily, if not hourly. Get it? Clock. Hourly. Moving on.

It arrived and I ripped it out of its padded house. I pulled the tag sticking out of the back starting the clock and it ticked quietly. I headed for the bathroom to insert it into its new home, the outlet to the left of the sink. Oh my giddy girl was full on happy faced.  It would soon put out a green glow around the little clock. Perfect. Then…

I plugged it in and it. Well it. Okay it was 90 degrees off. Yes the clock was askew as the outlet in that bathroom, for some reason was put in with the plug slots on top of each other instead of side by side. I tried to justify things. Could I live with the clock askew? I mean I could tilt my head and read the time. No big deal right? Next, who puts an outlet in at that angle? I figured it must be because it is a GFI (ground fault interrupter) safety outlet. Yes, that must be it. Nope.

The one in the other bathroom is at the “normal” angle. Oh who am I kidding, there was no justification. So I just plugged it in and enjoyed the green glow teaching myself to read the clock at the funky angle. That is not the end of this tale. Oh no, no, no. The battery ran dry. The clock stopped. Yes, I thought since it plugged in the battery was a back up too. Nope. Here’s where tools came in to play. Well not the saw.

Taking things apart is so much fun isn’t it? Screwdriver in hand I found where the button batteries, yes plural, were hiding. Snuggly in a tiny hole. Snuggly. So snuggly that soon I had the whole dang thing apart just trying to get the teeny batteries out. Used my flat and Phillips screwdrivers and a scribe that I, well I picked and pulled at things that I probably shouldn’t have picked and pulled at. Soon even the clock face was laying on the workbench. Mocking me. I bolstered myself thinking, “Well at least the hands are still attached.”

Finally replaced the microscopic batteries and there was this sickly little tick tock coming from the tiny clock. Sounded kind of like the last little squeak of the hinge on my back door before I used half a can of WD40 hunting for that dang squeak.

I put my lovely green glowing treasure back together, three times, and plugged it in. Picture this, it still glows happily and since the tiny hands now just hang pointing down it is going to forever be a quarter past three. It’s livable.

Trina lives in Eureka. Her funny book, They Call Me Weener is available on Amazon.com or email her at itybytrina@yahoo.com for a signed copy.