There are positively hundreds of ways you could choose to spending quality bonding time with your husband.

I always choose the extremes. Like roofing our farm house while Katrina was in full force a few years ago – of course, we only received the rain and some high winds, but still. My husband is a tad bit afraid of the combination of rain, roofs, 70 m.p.h winds and ladders – we had a swimmingly good time on that little project. Wish I had that to show you in pictures.

Another time, we decided to save ourselves $1800 by putting up a chain link fence around our yard. We dug no less than 50 post holes and filled them with quikrete and uprighted aluminum poles over a period of one weekend and then strung up the chain link the next week. In the summer. Let’s just say the sun wasn’t the only thing that was hot during that time.

I’m trying to be better about documenting these really special times of “bonding” as we like to call them. Doesn’t every couple have moments of intense frustration when they are working on something together? We have certainly had our share over the last seven years, because we are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to tackling projects.

I always assume it can be done with “no problem” and a “just do it” attitude, while he’s…well, he’s the opposite. I tend to look on the bright side and he…well, he’s the opposite. You get where I’m going with this right?

This week, we decided to add some precious memories to our “bonding time” album by attempting to repair a loose connection on the instrument panel of our 11 year old Dodge Caravan. Three weeks ago, we lost all power to the instrument panel – no odometer, no speedometer and no gas gauge. It has always been my secret fear that I’d run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, so imagine my horror at not ever knowing how much gas was in the van at any given moment and you’d understand why it took me four weeks to renew my drivers license. I had lost all desire to drive.

Now, I won’t lie – yes, it would be much easier to take it to a mechanic and have it repaired. But – we have spent over $1500 on van repairs in the last three months and we’ve had all we can stands and we can’t stands us no more. (that was Popeye, by the way). Besides, my husband was convinced by someone who had googled all the possible options regarding said instrument panel failure that it could be “easily repaired”. (note to self: quit using google to diagnose car problems) We even printed out 8 pages of step-by-step instructions telling us how to “fixit”.

Photographic evidence that we bonded follows. After the first photo, hubby said I wasn’t allowed to take any more photos with him in it, because he is shy like that. (Really, it’s because he wanted to get a haircut and was embarrassed for y’all to see it)

The dash – a tad bit daunting:

We had to remove all the crap in the way, which, of course, was MY job. After removing the junk, I realized how badly the van needs a good detail. Egad.

My kid’s favorite tape at the moment. We have listened to it no less than 142 times:

It’s starting to get complicated now, requiring more than just one hand and one person. Going to have to set the camera down and call in the big dog:

Eww. Our van is sure dirty. Side panel off, check.

At this point, hubs said “No more photos – are you blogging or are you going to help me fix this van?” Tee hee. I love it when he gets that look on his face. Putting the camera down, honey.

When we got to page 5 of the instructions and read “If equipped with a mechanical transmission range indicuator, perform the following…” Um, honey? Maybe we should just put all this back together while we still have a clue how where the bolts go.
So we did. This is what we saw when hubs reconnected the battery and I started it up after a small prayer and slapping the dash:

Yes, photographic evidence that Jesus healed our van. Oh sure, we were willing instruments, but we can’t take any credit – all we did was take it apart and put it back together. Apparently, all it takes is a “just do it” attitude and a willing spirit.

Thank you Jesus, I can now drive again. (and yes, we have over 200K miles on our van – we really need a new one, don’t we?)

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18 Comments on How to Bond with Your Husband

  1. Crazy Daisy
    August 9, 2008 at 4:36 pm (15 years ago)

    LOVE the photos! It just makes the story! 🙂

    There is a little something at my blog for you!

  2. Charming Lamb
    August 9, 2008 at 4:40 pm (15 years ago)

    Too funny!

    Where in Texas are you? I’m near Kemah.


  3. Clemntine
    August 9, 2008 at 5:22 pm (15 years ago)

    Now THAT is a compelling story and, dare I say it?, would make a smashing Broadway show!

    Jesus has healed many a mechanical doodad in the Clem Domicile, for which we praise His holy Name.

  4. Abbreviated
    August 9, 2008 at 5:44 pm (15 years ago)

    You guys are brave.

    I leave the county when dh tries to wallpaper.

  5. TheAngelForever
    August 9, 2008 at 5:46 pm (15 years ago)

    Love the story and photos to go along with it. I am so impressed that your van is still going with 200K on it. Nice work!

    Happy bonding 🙂

  6. Emily
    August 9, 2008 at 9:12 pm (15 years ago)

    our first episode of marital ‘bonding’ over putting things together was a DVD rack. since then we do a lot better; knowing what we’re getting into helps, i think.

  7. Flea
    August 10, 2008 at 1:29 am (15 years ago)

    I don’t do bonding things like that with the Hunny anymore. Not good for our marriage. I send him video instructions and he tackles things with one of our kids.

    I think we drive nearly the same vehicle, but ours is 12 years old. My instrument panel went out recently – including power windows and locks. I freaked. No AC and not windows down in summer is terrifying. Sounded like it is a fuse that only the dealer can change. But next time I drove, everything worked again. It’s happened one more time, but not since.

  8. 1-2-3...Get Organized
    August 10, 2008 at 7:20 am (15 years ago)

    Wallpapering has always been our “bonding” time, especially after I figured out that we bonded much better if the girls and I left the house!

  9. dianne - bunny trails
    August 10, 2008 at 10:04 am (15 years ago)

    HA! Love it! Especially Step 7 – that one totally cracked me up. Hubs & I don't bond over such projects, cause he's so totally mechanically inclined that my services consist merely of occasional chatter and providing a beverage. Although having an extra fridge in the garage kind of took care of part B. That's okay, now he employs our teenage sons to learn how to do mechanical type stuff. And he bonds with them. Which is good. He and I just bond elsewhere. 😀

  10. Scattered Mom
    August 10, 2008 at 11:28 am (15 years ago)

    My husband and I don’t really do work-type projects together much, instead we have hobbies that we do. Used to be scuba diving, and now it’s 4x4ing…but we hike together a lot and just hang out with each other.

    I am currently trying to convince him that I need a raised garden bed and that I’m totally willing and able to help him do all the work to build it.


  11. Big Mama
    August 10, 2008 at 4:37 pm (15 years ago)

    The last big project my husband and I did together was remodel the house. While I was pregnant.

    If we can survive that, then we can survive anything.

  12. Shara
    August 10, 2008 at 9:59 pm (15 years ago)

    Yeah! So glad things are running again.

    I can’t think of any projects we’ve done together except build our house. That was FUN. =)

  13. Bee Repartee
    August 11, 2008 at 3:22 am (15 years ago)

    We have matchy vans, although mine has more cheerios on the floor and the tape deck is kaput.

    YAY for running vehicles.

  14. Amber
    August 11, 2008 at 10:33 am (15 years ago)

    Yay! Jesus healed your van! Praise God! 🙂

  15. Summer
    August 11, 2008 at 12:10 pm (15 years ago)

    Oh how I just LOVE those bonding experiences {rolling eyes}! You’re a good sport though. I’m not sure I would have been so willing 🙂

  16. Jendi
    August 13, 2008 at 1:38 pm (15 years ago)

    So glad it turned out well and working! Woo-hoo!

  17. Connie
    August 13, 2008 at 10:17 pm (15 years ago)

    You guys were real brave to tackle a car problem. Well, my husband and I will be repainting the downstairs of our home in a couple weeks and the first thing he said is “Do you really think we can do this together???” We have very different styles and ways of doing things but he likes to roll and I will do all the cut in. It will save us major $$$. I love to paint and he taught me how years ago and usually I do it all myself a room at a time so wish us the best and check back on my blog after September 10th or for a blog update. Glad you got your van running.

  18. Dana
    August 17, 2008 at 1:22 am (15 years ago)

    How cool is that? Our bonding would consist of me attempting to dissuade my husband from projects he takes on anyway and finally concedes to my wisdom halfway through. There’s something about the way he looks at me and says, “Um, I hope you won’t be mad, but…” and I know the damage is done.

    But we’ve survived somehow.

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