Thursday, September 24, 2009

I've had a lot of quiet time of late. It has been busy time, but quiet. No television or radio to invade my thoughts while working around the house. All that quiet leaves lots of time for thinking, list making and reflection.
One of the things that has come to mind more than once is paying attention to detail. No better example exists than an outlet cover or a switchplate.
My parents were separated and divorced long before my first day of kindergarten. In the long run it was for the best for us all, though it took me quite some time to fully understand why. While I missed my dad a lot in those growing up years, we had the best neighbors, the Neffs, anyone could dream of. They treated me as their very own and for all of their lives were like a second set of parents to me. In spent countless hours in their home learning things that have stayed with me all my life.
One of those lessons I learned from Mr. Neff, Neffer as we called him, is that attention to detail is important. On a day when I was following him around as he did chores, he replaced the screen on a wood screen door. The final step was to rehang the door on its hinges. He very carefully put in all the screws, then went back and turned each so the slot in the screwhead was pointing in the same direction. When I asked why he did this, he carefully explained that attention to detail is the sign of quaility workmanship and shows pride in a job well done.
I have never forgotten those words. And as a tribute to a beloved man, I always pay attention to those little details.

24 comments:

Mimi said...

Smile :)

Julia said...

How sweet! I too, always have to have my screw slots going in the same direction. I wonder if that attention to details things might just be a natural for quilters. Just a thought. :~)

Shakerwood Primitives said...

As much attention to detail as I assume I usually have, I have never even thought of that.

We are going through a painful remodel of a very small bathroom. (I haven't mentioned it on the blog yet.....I was waiting for it to be finished. We're on week 6 of a 3-week job.). The tile dudes are on version 2 of the counter tile as we speak because of my attention to detail. Ggggrrrrr!

Pretty sure when I get home, I will be going around the house lining up the screws on all the electrical plates. Sweet story!

Judy said...

Martha Stewert's father was fanatical about that I remember her saying once. I always leave mine going side to side. It's why I go nuts when the downstairs neighbors open windows and they are NEVER even! Drives me nuts!

Milah said...

Personally, I have so many irons in the fire that I don't pay attention to things like that. Now if a picture is hanging crooked or a quilt is wonky..that bothers me!

Kathie said...

great story
ah yes attention to details
important in my world too!
love the paint color btw
Kathie

Vicki W said...

Several years ago my brother was helping me with some things around the house. One was replacing switchplates. Later I noticed the same thing. He had oriented all of the slots int he same direction. When I asked he said it's how you tell if you have a good electrician.

Karen said...

I wondered what the switch plate photo was about and now I know. Very nice memories and a lesson learned.

I think you might like some of those tin switch plates with the punched stars on them. I had a couple of those in one of our houses. Would fit your style nicely.

Sharon said...

How blessed you were to have Neffie in your life! I have been blessed with amazing parents and it makes so much difference in your life. Thanks for sharing your story.

paulette said...

What a lovely memory! Thanks for sharing!
Paulette

Judy in Michigan said...

Such a nice story...thanks. If you ever want to paint the switchplate the same color as the wall, there is this primer at Home Depot that you can spray on the switchplate and then paint with the wall paint. Just ask for the primer that sticks to plastic - it has a funny name. Anyway, I painted my plates so they wouldn't be so obvious on the wall. Love your wall colors!!

Quilter Kathy said...

Thanks! I enjoyed reading this post and thinking about the concept.

Carrie ~ Cricketwood Prims said...

Thats just wonderful Libby, I'm glad you had the Neff's in your life. A reminder we are making a difference even when we don't know it.
I love your paint color, details do matter in everything don't they.
I will apply that to my busy day today.

Guðrún said...

Ahhh, how sweet.

Candace said...

How wonderful, Libby! It's so nice to know someone else besides me does this, too!
Cheers!

Finn said...

Aw yes, *VBS*, perfect! A lesson well learned. Hugs, Finn

WoolenSails said...

I would have never thought about that, lol.
My husband does all the work around here and I notice all those little things he messes up, but I still tell him it looks perfect;)

Debbie

The Calico Cat said...

You replaced the towel bars with hooks, right?

Annemiek said...

Mostly i'm too impatient to pay attention to details and later on i regret it. I'm not a religious person but the quote "god is in details" I always remembered.
Your story inspires me to follow that quote next time..vbs

Julie in the Barn said...

You funny lady! I have my screws going horizontal. Back in the day when wallpaper was in vogue, I covered the switch plates to match.

kjquilts said...

Neffer was right! It does look better! There are alot of switchplates and outlet covers in my house but I think I'll add the job of "fixing" them to my list!

Brenda said...

Man, that was a great lesson. Thanks so much for sharing it.

MARCIE said...

That attention to detail looks a lot like OCD to me. Just saying.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh that is a wonderful memory! (And lesson).