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We've been fighting against an insurgent revolution on the home front. By "we," I mean my family, and I'm being literal when I refer to the home. 

I don't know if the house is simply tired of having us around all day, or we have just been too hard on it recently, but the slow revolt began with my wife flipping on our dining room chandelier, which responded with a flash and a loud "pop." Then, darkness. My wife yelped. I'm pretty sure I gasped. Our son looked around and said, "What was that?"  

It wasn't a breaker. It wasn't a case of multiple blown bulbs. If neither of those things are the solution, I'm out of my depth.

I've done battle with garage-door motors and kitchen appliances in my time. I'm a borderline savant when it comes to gas water heaters, because of everything the tank in our previous home put us through. But if it's something electrical that can't be fixed by resetting a breaker, I'm useless. Unfortunately, my friend in our pandemic pod who is a master of most things that break in a house wasn't going to be available for a while. We dragged some lamps into the dining room. 

I also started to put together a new cabinet/television stand for our living room around the same time. Our son's set of drawers in his room needed to be replaced, because, one day, he thought he could fit in the bottom drawer. Yeah, that broke real good. So, it was move one set of drawers into his room, bring the broken drawers out into the living room as a makeshift TV stand, and put the new thing together. 

I was a good ways into the project when I discovered the cabinet we had ordered had been shipped with several wrong parts. We sent in a complaint. It was no problem. The replacement parts would be here by the end of January. We're still waiting. 

In the meantime, the television in the living room decided it had had enough and stopped working. I don't know if it was an act of protest or a cry for help, but it couldn't be repaired, so I'm guessing all of that binging of "The Great British Baking Show" finally broke its spirit. 

No worries. We'll simply set that TV literally aside, as in beside the broken drawers (it's an old model from the early days of high definition and, thus, weighs a ton, and I was going to need help carrying it anywhere). We brought the small TV from the bedroom to the living room. And its stand promptly snapped. 

So, let's recap: a broken drawer set in the living room with a broken TV propped up atop it, with another TV sitting beside that, and the new cabinet sitting in a pile in the corner of the dining room, where there's no light. 

It was frustrating, but also hilarious. Until the toilets started acting up, anyway. I'm not going to go into all of that except to say they are working now, and I didn't kill anyone, although some of my profanity-ridden tirades could've been lethal, had someone been there to hear them when I snuck off to the driver's seat of the car in the garage to let them out. 

Throughout all of this, my wife kept reassuring me that we were lucky. There's something affirming in those words when coming from the mouth of a woman who has been kicking breast cancer's ass for more than a year now. 

We'd look around the living room, and laugh at how bizarre it was. Anytime I'd get steamed over the past two weeks, she'd look at me and say "We've got power, and we've got heat. We're lucky." 

She was right. She usually is. 

Eventually, my McGuyver friend was able to come by. We hoisted the TV out to the curb. He diagnosed the dimmer switch as the problem in the dining room. He replaced it. No one was electrocuted. He was even able to rig up a presentable solution for the smaller TV. 

The broken drawers and unassembled cabinet are still mocking us from their respective positions. Their time will come. After all, we're lucky. No need to push it. 

Ben Fields is the Gazette-Mail opinion editor. He is currently working from home. Reach him at or follow @BenFieldsWV on Twitter. 

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