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Plumbing Problems of Another Ilk

May 19th, 2009

Don’s tube change last week went off without a hitch. The worst thing about it was the wait. We had to be there at 8 am for a 10 am procedure, which didn’t actually happen until about 11. This is the third time he’s had the tubes changed, and it’s just a slam, bam, thank you ma’am event now. He didn’t even have anesthetic. They numbed the skin with a local and did the deed. Since he was never put out, he didn’t have to spend two hours in recovery, and when the deal was over, he just walked himself out to the waiting room and got me, and we left.

The more traumatic event of the week happened yesterday – Sunday, of course – , when the handle on the hot water faucet in one of the bathrooms blew off and sent water spewing upwards like Old Faithful. I came running in, half dressed, crawled under the cabinet, and turned the water off. Don was drenched by then, and had pretty well exhausted his vocabulary of colorful words. The irony of the situation is that we’ve known for months that those faucets needed replacing, and I had vowed to go to Home Depot to buy new fixtures the next day. Circumstances intervened.

We do have a service contract with a plumbing company, which I’ve spent a lot of money for over the years, yet never had to use. This is the first time I’ve thought the contract was worth it. I called them, and, lo, they sent someone out within the hour. No extra weekend charge, either. Long story short, he replaced all my drippy faucets, both bathrooms and the kitchen. He had the proper bathroom faucets on his truck, but no kitchen faucet, so while he was working, I drove to Home Depot and bought a kitchen fixture for him to install.

As I was driving home, I was feeling almost elated, to tell you the truth, just to have the job done at last, and with the fact that it hadn’t turned into a disaster. I was listening to Garrison Keillor’s show, and a performer began to sing the old hymn, “Just As I Am.” Suddenly, I was slammed back in time, to an old country church, my father’s mother and all his many aunts. When you’re a kid, there’s nothing like sitting on a big fat lap, my father always told us. Though her lap was anything but big and fat, I was all at once overwhelmed with a longing for my mother, and I almost had to pull over and pull myself together. Sometimes I hate being at the top of the generation tree. Even the aged need their mothers occasionally.

In the end,we got new faucets, but you didn’t think that was all there was to it, did you? No, it seems that one of the bathroom sinks is too rusted through to support the new drain plug, and now it won’t hold water. That sink has to be replaced. Don and I spent today calling and driving around trying to find the right fit. However, it seems they don’t make ’em like that any more…

This is what happens when you live in a 30 year old house. At least it gives us something to think about besides kidney stones!

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