A Little Humility

Have you ever run across what should have been an easy fix, but no matter what you did, it seemed to refuse to be fixed. I had one of those experiences over the weekend. For some unforeseen reason, our kitchen sink stopped draining. Normally, a clogged sink is something relatively easy to fix, especially for someone like me, who spent over thirty years in the construction field. While I was a painter, I had for a short period of time, worked as a plumber’s helper, and had seen enough clogged drains fixed that I knew my way around.

I went to the tool shed and retrieved a few tools and started right in. First step, remove and clean the p trap. “Yes, I thought.” The p trap was clogged so once it was cleaned; I put it all back together. To my surprise, it still didn’t drain. Okay, onto the next step.

I went to collect the snake and began cleaning the lines. When your snake had fifty-feet of line, why stop at twenty-five feet? Use the whole fifty-feet. When that was done, I put it all back together confident that I had solved the problem. Guess what? It still didn’t drain.

Okay, this was starting to get irritating, but I pulled it back apart and re-snaked everything. I was determined that I was going to win this challenge no matter what. I snaked all the cleanouts not once but twice then put everything back together. Then, I stood there like an idiot staring at the water coming from the faucet as it ponded in the double sinks without draining.

Judy finally got tired of watching me trying to clean the lines and called a plumber that one of our pastors recommended. I on the other hand took a break and walked to our mailbox to collect our mail. I told a couple of our neighbors what I had been doing for most of the day, and got more advice … which I followed. What good is advice if you don’t follow it? I pulled the drain on the garbage disposal. Guess what? It was clean and had nothing to do with our problem. At that point I had to admit I was beaten. I waited for the plumber to show up around ten Sunday morning. He saw the problem and went to his truck to get an old fashioned plunger and fixed the problem in five minutes. He was a real nice guy and Judy paid him sixty-dollars instead of the fifty is asked.

Me? Yes, I learned my seventy-five year-old body isn’t in bad shape, but it still doesn’t work as good as it did thirty years ago. And, regardless of what I might think, I really don’t know everything. Next time I run into a “fixit” problem, I’ll call an expert and watch them fix it in five minutes, after I’ve wasted several hours trying to fix it first.



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