Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Legacy of Lists, a Warren of Warranties, an Inheritance of Instructions

Jay was nothing if not organized, creating checklists for work and home, years before checklists became trendy. A mainstay of a rigging inspections, a checklist  insures the inspector forgets nothing! In the third edition of Stage Rigging Handbook, specific checklists and narrative about their importance comprise the last chapters.

We devised a few checklists at home, too—one for managing prolonged vacation travel (items included stopping paper and mail, notifying neighbors, watering houseplants, etc.), one for vacation packing (camera, reading material, sunscreen, maps, etc.) and one just for car trips (pillows, trash bag, CDs, windshield sunshade, etc.). These lists came about in reaction to a few trips where we had forgotten things we intended to take with us.  
Within the first year of marriage, Jay established our Warranty Box. Initially housed in a humble shoebox, it would hold a place of honor on a closet shelf in each of our homes. Into it we placed any and all warranty/instruction booklets for every purchase—watch, waffle iron, refrigerator, alarm clock. If instructions were needed, they were kept, and we always knew where to find them.
Last Friday at 3 a.m., the carbon monoxide alarm in my bedroom woke me up. Yes, I was alarmed (no pun intended), but since no number-readout appeared on the display, I was reasonably confident the beeping wasn’t about air quality. Nevertheless, my heart was pounding as I bounded out of bed, turned on the light, and contemplated what to do next. Assuming I could shush it, I unplugged it from the electrical outlet. No luck—still it beeped.

At that point I went to the warranty box—no longer a shoebox but a larger, more decorative craft box—to pull out the instructions for the CO monitor. Of course, it was there! After learning about monitor’s backup battery, then locating and removing it, the beeping silenced. I went back to sleep, immensely grateful for the warranty box.

A few days later I was cleaning out a small drawer in Jay’s office and found instruction sheets for five separate Timex watches (all but one long tossed out) acquired over a three decade period. Jay was a firm believer in wearing an “everyday watch” (read “cheap”) instead of an expensive one because it was too easy to damage a wristwatch inadvertently. He happily replaced the cheap watch every five or six years, commenting “Since it cost only $14.99, it doesn’t owe me a thing.” The Timex instruction booklets were not in the warranty box, being of a more personal nature, but I’ll bet he knew where they were! 

These little discoveries keep me loving and missing my dear, late husband. What a guy . . . what a legacy. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a guy, indeed. Thanks for this item. IT might even get me to clear a way through my less well organized instructions for everything from soup to the book that goes with my first computer, sometime in the 70s.