I've never been more proud - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

I've never been more proud

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By Mike Royer

Oh sure, winning a prestigious award is nice….being named the best at something you do is a huge honor. But, today I caught a glimpse of the mountaintop. Today, I did something I’ve never done before.

In the above picture I’m holding our old ice maker. It’s been a good ice maker. It came with the refrigerator we bought more than 12 years ago. The refrigerator is still working but this week the ice maker made its final cube. No fanfare, no noise to announce it was done, it just quit making ice. I hope I go like that.

Now, years of experience has taught me to go to the yellow pages or to my handy collection of business cards that I keep in a nice fake leather book on my desk. In it, I’ll find several reputable companies who will happily send a nice person to my house and fix whatever is broken. $162.60…that’s about what it costs these days to fix about anything. The dryer quits drying…$162.60. The air conditioner stops conditioning the air…$162.60.

They start charging you when they leave the shop and keep charging you until they get back. Plus, there’s parts and labor and it almost always turns out to be about $162.60 to fix whatever it is that’s given up the ghost.

Today was different, today was the dawn of a new day. Today is the day that Mike got handy. I had the business card out of the last company I called that charged me $162.60. They came when they were supposed to, fixed what was broken and that was it. Today though, before I dialed the number I looked at the now idle ice maker and discovered that the entire unit was held in place by 3 screws and the entire electronic circuitry was a simple wire that plugged into the side of the refrigerator.

I was nearly catlike as I found a Phillips screwdriver in the junk drawer and quickly spun out all three screws, unplugged the cord and lifted the ice maker out. My years of technical and mechanical experience kicked in here. I figured, almost out loud, that if that’s all it took to get a broken ice maker out…..then the reverse would put a working one back in.

The nice lady at the last place that charged me $162.60 told me that she had full confidence that I could put in a new ice maker and she would even be glad to tell me where to go downtown to buy a new one. So, I took my old ice maker with me and off I went. 45 minutes later I’m back home with my new ice maker and instructions printed in English, Spanish and some other language I couldn’t make out. I went with the English ones. Other than a little pause for confusion over what to do with what seemed like more electrical cord than I needed, I soon had the new unit installed, plugged in and ready to go. The nice lady at the last place that charged me $162.60 did warn me that nothing would happen for a while. The ice maker motor needed an hour or so to calibrate, make some grinding noises and click a few times before it would fill the ice maker up with water.

I hope you can see the pride in my face, the joy of accomplishment, the satisfaction of not only being the gatherer for the family, but the man around the house that solves problems. That’s me handy, a problem solver, the one who looks a problem square in the eye and says, “Where’s my tool box.”

Tonight at the Royer house there’s ice again, a kind of peace that comes when everything is just right. About every hour you hear the gentle tumble of freshly made ice cubes landing on others and all is well. It’s a good feeling. I’m thinking about adding a second story to the house.

See you tonight at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00pm.

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