My dad has always been a tinkerer.
When I was younger he had a workshop in our basement. In his “man space” he was surrounded by tools, nails, nuts, bolts, metal things, tiny things, and things I didn’t know the names for. He would go down to his workshop most nights after dinner, turn on his light, and sit on his swivel stool. Then he tinkered.
He took things apart, then he put them back together. He fixed things that broke. He knew about motors and why they would stop working. Looking back, my dad could fix anything—cars, plumbing, electricity, the house, you name it and he knew something about it. I never saw a plumber, electrician, builder, or lawn maintenance worker at my childhood home. My dad and mom did it all.
Now, at almost 96 years old, my dad is still a tinkerer.
His garage is now his main workshop and it is filled with gadgets I still cannot name. On warm days he sits in his garage and tinkers with something on his workbench.
Recently, my dad’s electric razor broke and he decided instead of buying a new one he would take this one apart and fix it. He worked on it over the course of several days while his beard grew. My mom sort of laughed as the parts to his razor lay all over the dining room table. “He’s keeping busy. I told him next he can fix the old cuckoo clock.” (Yes they still have one).
My dad told me the other day that he fixed the razor, minus “two parts that really wasn’t needed in there to work”. He probably saved those parts for something else.
His beard was shaved though, mostly, much to my mothers delight. My mother pointed out the spots on his face where he missed shaving. “Must be because of the parts you left out of the razor,” she told him.
Does your parent like to tinker with things?
Tinkering can be done with just about any activity. A crafter might like to tinker with a bunch of craft supplies, while an old car mechanic might like to tinker with a motor. Of course, be safe with whatever it is that they work with.
Also think about a space in which to tinker around. Do you need a table to set things on? Or maybe a tray would work better. Maybe a craft room, sewing room, or a workshop would be a place to tinker. What space do you have available?
Consider that tinkering may not be for everyone. But, for those that love to tinker, it is as every bit an art as a painter with a canvas and a brush. It’s just a different canvas, a different brush, and a different landscape.