Rainy Day Blues

Okay, I believe I've reached the point that all red-blooded men hate...that they are getting older...maybe even over the hill and sliding down the other side, without any brakes to stop you. In my case, it was always the other guy, but never me. I guess I was like the character Al Capp created named General Bullmoose, who at the age of 90 was still in the gym pumping iron and out-performing all the younger men. Not that I'm 90, or built like General Bullmoose, but I still walked 5 miles a day and exercised. In turn, I was the guy a lot of people called on when they were in a jam. Yep, I'll admit it, I'm at the point where I'm calling the other guy.

We bought an old Northern Lite cab-over camper for our ½ ton truck, knowing it needed some work. It seemed like a perfect fit, since I'm the one who insisted on a camper with a bathroom. Call it a phobia, but I've always hated taking showers in public restrooms and sitting on public toilets. I will if I have to, but I'd rather not. Well, what we bought will solve that problem. But, as always, it turned out to need a bit more work than we expected. We now believe the poor thing had been in a flood. Not a problem for the guy who does everything.

Replacing the floor was a little out of my line of expertise, but we know flooring contractors Tim and Ruth Bell. They had the new floor down in one afternoon. I kept pecking away with the other problems, like installing a new refrigerator and microwave . I also refinished the cabinets and hung new window shades and curtains. Judy was busy ordering items and pointing out things that needing fixing, and all was well in Major's land. Then we ran into a couple of things beyond my grasp.

The guy who had delivered it to our house, for some unknown reason, had placed some extra blocks under the left front jack, making it difficult to level. I was struggling with this problem when I got the bright idea of simply raising the other three jacks, which should allow me to remove the extra blocks. It was a good idea, except the camper slid off the unneeded blocks and fell against the side of our house. Oops! You can't simply move a 1,600 pound camper by yourself. That led to my first call for help. God bless our friend Onan Rice who ran to our aid with jacks and had the camper upright and on a pad of pallets in a matter of a half-hour. There was no damage to the house or camper, so things were back to normal and I got back on schedule. We were nearing the end of the remodel and deciding where we would like to take our first trip. Then I hurt my back.

Don't have any idea when or how, but I woke the other morning with it screaming at me. But, since I'd always secretly chuckled at people with back problems, thinking they might be looking for sympathy, I took on another project. Our kitchen faucet was leaking, so I took a trip to our local hardware and brought home a rather nice-looking unit and broke out the tools, only to discover some problems.

First, I discovered my eyesight ain't like it used to be. Even with my glasses, things looked a little fuzzy lying under the cabinet. It took a little longer to remove the old faucet than I thought, due to not being able to get the *#** wrench on the couplings. Had to be a faulty wrench, because I've never had that problem before. I finally removed the faucet and cleaned the sink, and it was time to install the new one.

Again, the stupid wrench had trouble finding the couplings. While lying in an awkward position, half inside the cabinet, my back began another protest that almost had me in tears. Finally, I had it all together...or so I thought. It's there, looks good, but has a couple of drips. While thinking of crawling back in the cabinet my back started saying “Uh-uh, ain't doing that right now.” So, after a call to another friend, I placed one of Judy's pans under the drip while waiting for his arrival.

Sitting in my chair and watching the rain outside my window, I admit I've learned several things this week. First, I am almost 73, and getting older like everyone else. Second, there is no shame in asking for help, and a little humility is a good thing. Third, back pain is real and I tip my Stetson to anyone who suffers from it. But I'm still gonna go camping here shortly.

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