Today It Was Plumbing

Today it was plumbing.

Our water has been off since the big freeze, and when Christopher, my son-in-law, replaced the cracked filter housing under the home yesterday, I discovered this plastic nut behind the tub had split, spraying water back there. So we went without water another day until I could get to the hardware store & try to find something to replace that elbow.

The guys at both hardware stores weren’t much help in this case. After pointing out the plumbing section, they had no clue as to what to do. But when I spotted this copper to PVC connector, *click*, the PVC to PVC connector on a line under the floor came to mind, and here we go, fixed.

I post these little repairs, things normally outside my bailiwick, not so much to say, “Look what I can do!” But instead because each reminds me of the time and love people have poured into teaching me things.

As a kid, I was often told, “You’re smart, but you have no common sense.”

But tightening that copper elbow, I heard the voice of my departed stepfather saying, “You’ll probably want to twist it one more time around. Hmm, another. Okay, it can probably go another, just to make sure it’s sealed. I know you worry that you’ll end up with it too tight to get it turned back to the bottom, but if so, you can always take it off and try again.” This is the guy who taught me simple things like not to block my own light. And something about auto and small appliance repair.

Then there’s my son-in-law, who introduced me to the quick connectors in the first place. While hacksawing the old elbow off, and then trimming it even with a knife, I could imagine him saying, “Hey, there’s something inside that pipe that you should probably fish out.” (It was an interior piece of the old connector.) But mainly, “You’ve got this, Dad.”

And my daughter, Christine, who’s the real plumber, and who’s can-do attitude rubs off. I’m not too proud to be instructed by my own children.

So there you go. the elbow’s fixed. There’s a simple satisfaction in restoring water for my family. That Jennifer is proud of “her man” feels good, too.

But mainly I’m just thankful for those teachers. For everyone who ever taught me anything. You’ve turned a kid with no common sense into a fairly commonsensical one. You’ve set me up to succeed. And investing that time and patience into me is the very definition of love.

Thank you. I’ll try to pass it on.