A Tape Measure with a Story

Tape Measure with a Story

Photo: Gretchen Grant

This old tape measure follows me around everywhere.  My father gave it to me, and it does the trick.  Sure, it’s a little heavier than today’s newest models and the tape itself doesn’t stay extended with a flick of a button.  But it’s a happy memory plus a working tool, and has pride of place in my belongings.

For many of us, home improvement was a chance for parents or other mentors to give us welcome advice. Do-it-yourself projects were do-it-together occasions, and we learned practical knowledge that still serves us today.  For example, from working with a tape measure I learned:

1. Measure it—then measure it again! Those words really do save headaches and hassles.

2. Don’t fear fractions.  Measurements like 1/8″ and 3/16″ become less intimidating after working with them and seeing what a difference they make in a successful outcome.

3. Used tools can, and often do, work just fine.  When I don’t want to keep one, I consider if there is someone to whom I might pass it along.

We’d like to hear your home improvement memories.  What did your Dad, Mom, grandparent, or some other mentor teach you?  What lessons do you use today?  What are you teaching your children?  We’ll publish Top 10 Readers’ Memories with attribution to you, so write away—right away! Use the comment field below, or tell us on Facebook.