“Knowing Where to Tap”

We just said a grateful farewell to the emergency freezer repairman.  Mr. Second Helpings and I arrived home from work and discovered a puddle of melted ice on the kitchen floor. The contents of the freezer were cold but no longer frozen.  Sound familiar?

We quickly moved most of the items to our garage freezer (the best hand-me-down ever!). I pouted while tossing a brand new box of fancy all fruit popsicles into the trash (one of two defrosted casualties). After the food was relocated Mr. Second Helpings attempted to assess the problem. Unfortunately his engineering expertise does not extend to Frigidare side-by-sides. So, I called the repairman while we shared a dinner of the leftover prepared food in the fridge, which was also warming.

Even though it was just past 6:30 he assured me that he would come over as long as we didn’t mind a late visit.  We didn’t mind one bit.  In fact I should have offered him dinner.  Or a pie.

Our tool-belted knight arrived at 9 o’ clock in a well-worn Chevy van with a warm smile on his face.  I almost hugged him, I think Mr. Second Helpings did too.  After a few pleasantries were exchanged he pulled the fridge away from the wall and quickly found the problem.  Using his pliers he jiggled just the right spot to make it start working again.  The temperature started to fall right away and we were no longer in danger of losing the food in the refrigerator.

Mr. Second Helpings and I were more than happy to pay the full rate for his short visit. We were treated to another friendly but brief exchange before he and his van departed into the balmy darkness.  As he drove away I remembered a story our Weight Watchers leader shared with our group a few weeks ago.

The Ship Repairman

Ever heard the story of the giant ship engine that failed? The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine. Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.

Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed! A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.

“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”

So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.”

The man sent a bill that read:

Tapping with a hammer ………………….$ 2.00

Knowing where to tap ……………………..$ 9998.00

Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort in your life makes all the difference.

-Quoted from trainerstories.blogspot.com

The incident cost us very little compared to a new fridge and its contents. Mr. Second Helpings and I are motivated and talented people but we didn’t know how to fix our broken refrigerator.  Asking for help didn’t diminish our gifts in any way, it allowed us to move forward with our tools in good working order. When you come across a road block in your journey that you are able to remove go ahead and do it.  If the block is bigger than you can manage alone don’t just plop down next to it, grab someone to help you get moving again!  You’ve got too many big things to do and wonderful places to go to let “stuff” get in your way.


  1. We have a whole arsenal of “guys” to help keep the rural farm and property going. My husband can fix a lot of things, but we still call on the appliance repair guy, the electrician, the septic guy, the dump truck guy…

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