Just have the feeling someone needed this today...
It's so easy to write of the hardship and challenges yet there is something else much harder to pinpoint that happens when a person goes through a season of living In The Trenches. Like the stars at night amidst the blackness. They seem to be small yet they brighten the night sky with patterns and hope.
Who out there has tried to change the U joint (I think that's what it's called) under a kitchen sink? It is one of the simplest yet awful tasks there is. First you assemble what you think are the tools and pieces needed for the job. A wise person may look at a book or talk to the local hardware man. Once you perceive yourself to be ready you lay on your back and squiggle your back side until your head and upper body is in this dirty, cramped, moldy smelling place where usually only the garbage can resides. I am considered a small woman and so can almost fit but for the men out there who are twice my size with broad shoulders this is indeed a major feat. Next time you are tempted to laugh at a plumbers crack consider that he maybe secretly mooning you for asking him to do the job.
Next, in this awkward position you take this heavy wrench that I think is called a pipe wrench and try to maneuver it around the joint. It slips and falls off and more often then not you realize it is the wrong tool and have to wiggle back out and start over. By this time those who are prone to swearing are already doing so. Those of us who refrain are glaring at anyone around including the dog.
Finally the tool is in the right position, you adjust the grip and start turning. If you are like me I always turn the wrong direction making the whole connection tighter. Then the wrench slips again and again a person is tempted to utter words that should not be used.
After a few attempts the U joint is mercifully off. If you have measured the replacement correctly you put it on and tighten it up. If not, you take the old piece and head back to the hardware store and let the men laugh at you for picking the wrong one in the first place. But men do have an innate kindness and will simile and take the time to make sure you have what is needed and tell you what to do if you appear appropriately appreciative of their greater knowledge and experience.
Back home you go and now with the practice attempts out of the way you are warmed up and hook that baby up, clamp it down, and tighten it up. Turn on the faucet and check for leaks. If no leaks you are good to go.
And then the lights flash and the stars come out! You have done it! You actually fixed something that was very important. The new shiny white PVC pipe is almost sparkling. You just couldn't be more pleased with yourself knowing in your heart that you are now Superman or Superwoman whatever the case may be. You wait for the cheering of the fans yet they just look at you like "Whats the big deal?". Don't let them take your joy. Hold on to it and don't forget how awesome you are at this very moment. And definitely do not tell anyone you know that you know how to change the pipe under the sink.
Originally posted Nov 2, 2010