Thursday, October 27, 2005

Essential Life Skills

Sometime during the night, our plumbing came down with a virus. One of the pipes in the pumphouse started projectile vomiting. Not what I really wanted to wake up to this morning.

Plumbing repair is a skill that I very quickly acquired when we moved out to the country some 20 years ago. I have had many opportunities to practice this skill over the years. The advantages of country life, like big gardens, lots of birds, and not much noise, are somewhat offset by the need for emergency repairs like this. We own our home, or are buying it, rather, so we don't have a landlord to call on. Plumbers charge a godawful amount to come out this far for small jobs like a leaky or busted pipe, and one of the main reasons we moved out here was so we could live on less money.

That particular reason, of course, has fallen by the wayside in the wake of the recent gas price meltdown. Nonetheless, such skills as plumbing, electrical wiring, small-time masonry, gardening, and cutting and stacking firewood have kept us on the land and out of the city (and the poorhouse) for a long time. These skills are worth far more than the occasional frustration and hissy fits they bring with them. It's gratifying beyond anyone's expectations to be able to effect a repair like this in a couple of hours with $15 worth of parts. Not only do we save a significant amount of money, but the feeling of satisfaction and achievement that comes from doing a jobs with my own hands and doing it well is a major joy.

What else is going on today? My dog woke me up at 4am, at which time I discovered I was in the middle of a severe attack of hypoglycemia. Blood sugar had dropped to 54. 40 is life-threatening. Had to get up and deal with that for an hour. New medication I just started is having an effect, I guess. Needless to say, I have done no writing at all today. My wife's mad because she had to take a sponge bath this morning, and I pinched a hunk of skin off my finger working on the plumbing. Luckily, it's the middle finger on my left hand, so I'll be able to claim I was just showing off my Winnie-the-Pooh Band-Aid.

On the other hand, the sun is shining, the temperature's in the 70's, and the sky is a beautiful October blue. Everything else just seems kind of petty.

Happy Thursday!


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