Once upon a time there was a mini-blind on the guest room window. Then there wasn’t, and thereby hangs the tale.
On a sunny September morning, I started to raise the blind so the cat could sit on the windowsill, and the blind came crashing down. One of the plastic support brackets gave way, breaking into two pieces. An easy fix, I thought; but we all know there is no such thing in fact or fiction.
Three days of searching in the closets and garage for those extra brackets we had squirreled away for just such an emergency made me consider Plan B, the next simplest solution. I would spend a weekend at tag sales and thrift shops looking for a pair of used brackets or even a used blind with brackets. I found lots of blinds without brackets, but on Sunday I finally hit the jackpot; a new blind in a sealed package complete with brackets for the princely sum of $2. That was surely tag sale Nirvana, the time when you actually find what you set out to buy.
Monday morning, however, brought a new reality. The metal brackets in the box needed to be bolted to the top of the window sash, requiring a power drill/screwdriver to aid weak muscles in making new holes. The tool needed recharging, so another half day passed. If you’ve ever had to stand on a stool while reaching over your head to work in a poorly-lit corner with screws consistently acted upon by gravity, a/k/a falling to the floor which necessitates getting down from the stool, you know what came next. The bulky drill and my bulky hands would not fit in the corner simultaneously. I needed frequent breaks to unkink my neck and shoulder muscles, and to eat several snacks to keep up my strength. Meanwhile, the power tool lost its charge and I lost my patience.
The next day I discovered the charger was faulty as the drill still had no charge, so a second drill was located. My husband took pity on me and finished the installation of the metal bracket. And when he put the blind up again, it immediately fell down again. The metal bracket only worked with the blind with which it came, which was the wrong size for the window.
I was beginning to feel like Snoopy as the World War I flying ace, out to capture the Red Baron. "Curses, foiled again."
Plan C involved more second-hand searching, including the excellent Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity ReStore, from which we have purchased some excellent materials. Alas, no mini-blind hardware was found, so Plan D involved visiting retail stores which carry new merchandise. No replacement brackets were found at hardware or big box stores, so off we went to the newly-opened Ocean State Job Lot in North Adams to buy a new blind with hardware, which would hopefully fit our old blind. We bought the smallest size, at the lowest price, and came home to rest from our adventures.
The next day dawned bright and sunny with the prospect of a working blind on the window. While I finished painting the trim on the back of the house, my darling husband, charged drill in hand, ascended the step-stool to finish the job. When I came inside, I knew something was different. The light pouring in the guest room window was filtered by a well-hung blind.
Another day later, I got the window valance back on its curtain rod. Reinstalling the rod in its brackets only took three tries, as the rod had become bent when it came down; but the problem was easily solved with some help from a pair of pliers of the non-power variety.
And they all lived happily ever after, at least for awhile.
Anne Horrigan Geary is a regular Eagle contributor.