Our kitchen faucet finally failed. Mind you, it is 22 years old, original to the house, never ailed a day in its life.
Until the last couple of weeks.
It developed an annoying drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip, but when the drip turned into an intermittent dribble, we decided it was time to do something about it.
Now, neither of us is a plumber. Especially me. I hate plumbing. You have to mess around with water and goop and stuff splashing in your face. Give me a wiring job any day. Guess I’d rather electrocute myself than drown.
First hurdle: figure out how to take the thing apart. We earned a B+ on that test.
Second hurdle: figure out what was wrong with it. The faucet gave us a rather blatant hint when one of the O-rings fell apart when we touched it. Does that count as cheating? If not, then give us an A+.
Third hurdle: Find O-rings that fit. Remember, this faucet is 22 years old. Do they even still make parts for it? But hey, how hard can it be to find O-rings that fit? Or other parts?
Answer: really, really hard when you’ve got a 22-year-old faucet.
To make a long (and frustrating) story short, in spite of our best efforts, the faucet still went dribble, dribble, dribble. Our only option was to shut off the water supply to the kitchen sink and call our favourite plumbing repair outfit. The problem was, this happened on a Sunday so we had to wait till Monday.
Have you ever counted the number of times you need and use water from the kitchen faucet? Making coffee. Filling water glasses. Getting a drink. Filling a saucepan for cooking. Wiping up spilled whatever. Washing dishes. Rinsing those washed dishes.
As I carried an ice cream pail full of water from the laundry sink to the kitchen sink, I couldn’t help but think of my grandmother and how she lived like this every day. For years!
If she were lucky, there was hot water in the cook stove reservoir. If not, then she had to grab the bucket, go to the well, pump water into the bucket, carry it into the house (don’t slop!) and then heat it until the water was just the right temperature – not too hot and not too cold. Then pour it into the dishpan (careful! don’t spill!) and start washing.
Even though I had to carry water to the kitchen sink, I could at least dump the dirty water out of the ice cream pail and down the sink.
Grandma didn’t have that option. Nope. She had to carry the dishpan, full this time, carefully out the door and dump the dirty water on the flower bed.
It isn’t until something as simple as a faucet goes haywire that we realize just how lucky, and how spoiled, we are. And how we have become so reliant on such conveniences.
Thanks, Grandma, for the lesson.
P.S. The plumber came on Monday, replaced the worn part, and now our faucet works again. No more drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip.
P.P.S. You can learn what else Grandma Hanna had to endure by reading “Our Bull’s Loose In Town!” Tales from the Homestead. During May, it’s 50% off on Smashwords.
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