Storytelling

A Minor Christmas Miracle

Our garage door has been a problem child for the past few years, moreso even than our problem children. In its defense, the garage door was abused as a child. It has been hit with the car several times. Also, it was born with a handicap: the builder of the house went cheapo on it, installing the weakest door possible, essentially depriving it of oxygen in the womb.

On the eve of Christmas Eve, it broke once more. A hockey stick fell and obstructed its path. A normal garage door would have simply stopped during its descent and reversed its course–a normal safety feature. Our garage door, however, couldn’t take the stress and fell out of its track. It was like a teenager having a tantrum: loud, unexpected, and difficult to put back into its normal routine. What’s different is that you can not walk away from the mess, lock the kitchen door, and decide to fix the problem the next day, which is what I did with the garage door. Had the garage door been an actual teenager, I would have screamed at it for an hour until one of us was reduced to tears; then, having forgotten how the problem started, I would have said, “Oh screw this; whatever,” to claim the moral low-ground, and gone to my room to sulk.

In the morning I called the garage door guy listed in the Yellow Pages (come to think of it, I’m not sure it was the “Yellow Pages” but some other phone listing book that is dropped on our front steps twice a year, and I am so glad they quit competing for our attention with stupid commercials now that Google has claimed all the revenue anyway). He was an older gentleman with an Appalachian accent that, in his case, was quite charming. He said, “Yeh, I’ll fix ‘er,” on the phone, and not much else, grunting in response to my explanation of where we lived.

It took him less than an hour to correct and repair what would have taken me a full day to accomplish, and I would have made the problem worse. His repair is still working smoothly a week later. He quoted me a price, but took a little less because I offered cash. That, to me, was just icing on the cake.

I will be replacing the garage door, per my new trusted, Appalachian accented advisor’s opinion, as soon as possible. With teenagers, however, there is no replacement, and, really, no repair. They are not broken, only misunderstood; they are not stupid, just ignorant; they are not wrong, they are inexperienced. But oh what a bargain it would be if only eighty dollars cash could make them stay on track.