• Joan Wilkening

Am I the only one?

Updated: Jun 11, 2018

Am I the only one who gets excited when the the multi-page Harbor Freight Sale Flyer arrives in the mailbox? I think not. Some ladies enjoy the Ulta mailer, excited to look at the new flat irons and nail polish colors (although I must admit to pulling out the perfume cards and rubbing them on the seats to make the cab of my truck smell good). I get excited when the Harbor Freight Flyer shows up. Why? Because they have great sales! Even stuff you didn't know you needed is on sale. See that red rolling cart? I have one in the store. I added rubber shelf liner so glassware doesn't tip over as we wheel the cart through the store. 

That handtruck/dolly converts to a flat surface, too. I've bought many of their dropcloths for table covers and have them hanging as drapes dividing sections of the store. I own numerous measuring tapes, screwdrivers, levels, scrapers, sanders and movers dollies. And, one of my workbenches came from Harbor Freight. As in any business, it's important to have the right tools!

How did I end up excited about Harbor Freight? Growing up my two sisters and I learned early on the difference between a flat head screwdriver and a phillips. Our Dad was quite handy and was always tinkering and building something. We were the only family in the neighborhood with an airplane in the back garage. Yes, Dad built airplanes, full size, climb in and taxi down the runway kind of airplanes. We had summer picnics under the wing of an airplane or glider at the airport.

It didn't matter to Dad that he had three girls to raise, and not surprisingly, we all learned to be resourceful and mechanical. Mom was also creative; she taught us how to paint, sew, bake, cook, rearrange furniture and be independent. We learned to garden, swim and built forts in the backyard and if something broke, we learned how to fix it. Sometimes we're too independent, but that's a story for another day.

We improvise, tinker, deconstruct, reinvent and repurpose. We can fix, troubleshoot and diagnose. Why? Because we learned to be inquisitive and handy. Want a fun outing? Skip the zoo, take the kids to the hardware store and walk around looking at all the tools and gadgets. Teach them not to be afraid of tools but how to use them. They'll appreciate it when they get to college and need to assemble the Ikea furniture. Learn something new everyday.

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