It was going to be a nice long weekend. Perhaps, I thought I could get a few things done around the house and then just “do nothing.” Never underestimate the value of simply doing nothing.
Some folks think they are too busy or important to simply do nothing. Honestly, I think those are the same folks that actually probably do nothing all the time. You’ve seen these folks; they spin their wheels all day, talk a lot about all they have to do and get nothing done.
There are lists on the internet that give folks ideas on “How to do nothing.” Just to give you an idea, the list I found included advice on choosing the right loafing role models, sketching flowers, staring at the clouds and taking a nap. Are you kidding? These folks have lists for everything and after spinning their wheels all day, they feel so proud of it - that they need to learn how to do nothing.
I know how to do nothing.
Also, I understand that you have to “do something,” before you get to do nothing. The kitchen sink had been dripping for a while and someone got the bright idea to replace the whole thing. You know, “Update the kitchen sink with a brand new fancy faucet.”
They have these faucets now that you can wave your hand over and they come on. These new fancy faucets are amazing, but I chose one that was not so fancy. The fancy one was nice, but I didn’t want to risk waving at it the wrong way. It might have sprayed me in the face or something.
When I got home, I read the instructions for my new faucet before I took anything out of the box. Honest, I did. Sometimes I’m not so good about reading the instructions, but this time I wanted the whole process to go smoothly.
The new faucet fit into the sink perfectly and it looked great. Now, all I had to do was get under the sink and hook it up.
It looked simple enough, although there were a lot of archaic looking pipes and tubes under the kitchen sink. Apparently, the faucet I was replacing had been there since the 70’s and the fellow who put it in was expecting an earthquake or something. There had been lots of soldering and piecing together. Rather than earthquake preparation, perhaps the fellow before me had either experienced a leak or they had cut the pipe one too many times (it was pieced together a lot).
Disconnecting the old faucet had been so easy that I was already looking forward to doing nothing. Then I made my first attempt at hooking up the new faucet. After turning on the water, I needed to get a towel. It was leaking pretty badly.
No problem, I thought, I’ll just tighten the connections a little more.
I turned the water back on; I needed two towels this time. It was getting just a little frustrating. After coming to the conclusion that I might need to replace the fittings; I headed out to the hardware store. The hardware store is a nice place to talk about doing a lot of stuff (and not actually doing it). I view it as a medicinal experience.
New fittings didn’t fix the leaks. More towels were needed and I decided I needed to start cutting pipe; I went back to the hardware store. I took digital pictures of the battlefield under the sink so I could stand around and talk about it with the fellows at the hardware store.
We all agreed that I had what I needed to win the war under the sink.
Four or five hours and about eight towels later; water was still leaking under the kitchen sink. Too tired to even enjoy doing nothing, I decided to go to bed and start again the next morning.
Before I started the next morning, I headed out to the hardware store for encouragement. We have a nice local Ace Hardware and the ladies and fellows that work there are always telling me, “You can do that yourself.”
They know I’ve worked in the space business for over 25 years, I’m pretty sure they just assume I can do “simple” tasks around the house.
It’s not always the case.
I disconnected, cut and connected everything back together again. It still leaked and it was getting closer to noon. Have you ever seen the episode of The Andy Griffith Show where Andy keeps telling Aunt Bea to, “Call the Man,” to fix the noisy and sparking freezer she has filled with a side of beef she got a bargain price on? My back was soaking wet and my legs were sticking out from under the sink. I thought I heard Andy Griffith yelling at me, “Just call the man.”
I had too much time invested at this point. How could I enjoy nothing after not accomplishing a thing?
Another break was in order, so I decided to call my godmother, Phyllis. She is always encouraging. She is however, going to be 92 next month, so she doesn’t hear so well.
After explaining to her that I was having trouble with the water leaking from the kitchen sink, she went into a few sermons, apparently only hearing the part about the water. Phyllis talked about being baptized, Jesus walking on the water and turning water into wine. I’m sure I needed to hear all of that and by the time she was finished, I had calmed down some.
She prayed for me like she always does.
This time I knew the leaks would stop. I tightened everything one more time and turned the water back on while I was still under the sink looking straight up. Something turned loose and a tube went crazy spraying ice cold water in my face like a wild serpent spewing cold venom under the sink.
I was soaking wet. I had to take my shirt off on the spot.
Perhaps this was a Baptism. Perhaps this was what Phyllis was praying for…. I did not know.
There were no more dry towels left in the house after I mopped up the kitchen floor.
I went to the hardware store one more time. I came back and unhooked it all, then hooked it back up. It was a miracle. It didn’t leak (maybe just a drop or two). The way I figure it, the drops of water were probably just sweat from the pipes wrestling with me for a couple of days.
Plumbing is not rocket science.
It is much harder.
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