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Friday, April 27, 2018

Plumbers!

Yesterday, we called the plumbers. They came out to our crazy old farmhouse and needed to get underneath it. I had to saw a two-foot by two foot hole in the floor of Norma's studio!
I sawed down to the sub-floor, then continued,
all the way to Hell!
Between floor and subfloor were newspapers acting as insulation. They were from 1957:

Comfy slippers, Dad's overcoat,
 And Mom's downtown suit:
From my two days with plumbers, 5 days of cold showers, and the promise of a weekend without further assistance, I have been given special insight into an enigma. If, for any reason --before we lie down in the echoes of our lives-- we need to visit Hell, I can now capably saw a hole in your floor or mine of regulation size.

Your regular pastor will return when it is not Friday and the plumbing is fixed. Go in peace.
 

36 comments:

  1. Oh my! That is not a job for a retiree. Take care, Geo.

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    1. Dear Arleen, I must agree. Not a job I cared for, but strangely one that gives me some confidence that I am still useful. I regret I accidentally published only half this post by accident or congooglefusion, but your comment is apt and comforting. Please enjoy the second half.

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  2. Sigh. Memories of encounters with plumbers haunt me. And the scars in the garden remain.
    I hope your visitors were efficient and considerate.

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    1. Dear EC, Our visitors from the restoration service and Ace Plumbing have been most considerate --like having my grown-up children back in the house. They report, they ask politely, I help where I can save a thousand dollars here and there. This house was built 70 years ago. Who could predict we'd have plumbing problems now?

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    1. We do have crawlspace under the original house, but the adit was covered by my own construction based on concrete slabs. I built a house on a slab for my teenagers and connected it to the tiny crumbling farmhouse by a hall. So there's still crawlspace down there, but accessing it proved strenuous.

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  4. Needing a plumber is a nightmare for me (not turning up, being late, the price charged, the poor service etc..).
    I try very hard to be careful about my plumbing system in the house, so that I don't need these people. I'm sure there are good, honest plumbers out there, but I haven't met them.

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    1. Dear DUTA,of course needing a plumber is the result of calamity. I used to take care of these problems myself. I retired from public gardening, where I was regularly called upon to dig out and repair irrigation systems. Somewhat different from structural plumbing, certainly --enough for me to agree with your caution about choosing a plumber. I go by recommendation from family and friends. So far, that has sufficed.

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  5. Our plumbing is adequate but I am inspired to install a secret subfloor room... although it would probably attract too much rat attention. May your troubles soon be mended - although it seems the cold showers might be needed if one has opened the gates to Hellfire?

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    1. Lisa, I have squandered most of the family fortune on a new hot water heater this past week. It sits in its box in the back yard and I intend to install it whether these leaks outlive our patience or not. Its predecessor lasted 70 years and gave up dramatically last week. As for rats, we have plywood covering the access hole and weights atop that. Any rat that lifts all that is welcome to any reward I can fire at it.

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  6. We are helpless in the grip of the trades....

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    1. Dear Delores, we are helpless in the grip of many things, but in this case I'm just happy they showed up to impoverish me so quickly. They'll be back to attack the leaks --2 leaks!-- on Monday, so I live in penurious hope.

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  7. It may not be much longer until some hopefully skilled craftsman/person cuts a nearly 4" C shaped section out of the side of my daughter's head. Hopefully, after a few hours they won't take a mandated break.....I'll be there, been a few years since scrubbed and gowned, but I won't be excluded.
    Hope your plumbing issues are solved quickly and with not de-materializing your wallet.

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    1. Dear Mike, I'm glad you'll be there. It's been 23 years since my youngest son went through a massive operation and I know the feelings and fears. 6 hours and I can't recall, can't relive, the fear I felt and tried not to show. I have already told you, be there. Be with her in mind and/or spirit --strangely it is a calm, not a frantic, state. And as I've also mentioned, go there and take all my best wishes with you. My problem is only leaks and cold showers but I have known true worries in the past. Be with her where ever you are.

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  8. I have been very lucky with a plumber here. Unfortunately he was not available when SWMBO had delivered a new (used) refrigerator that was minus some parts. Using a day of Google, some gorilla glue and her inventiveness we have got the ice maker working and that's enough.

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    1. Bruce, if Ayesha can concentrate her powers toward restoring the ice maker, you've got a valuable mate. I've got one too and would probably be living in a cave if not for her.

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  9. I knew it got rather warm where you live, Geo, but I never suspected you had Hell under the floorboards. Best of luck with the repairs and may you have many many years without the need for further plumbing expertise.

    I love reading old newspapers. For one thing, I don't need to worry about any of the news. For another, I don't need to worry about any of the grammar or spelling. We seem to have deteriorated in both areas the last few years.

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    1. True and true, dear Jenny. Our language is constantly expanding and, often confusingly, constantly randomizing. We've watched this happen at a rate philologists can't keep up with, even in track shorts and running shoes.

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  10. It seems like - with all your horrendous plumbing problems - you were already in hell without having to saw a hole to get there.
    I truly hope the plumbers knew what they were doing and your hellish experience will now only be a miserable memory.
    Although there might be more hell to come when you get the bill....

    I love the old 1950's ads.

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    1. Jon, the bills have already piled up into the thousands, and promise to double at least. But this is a small --no, this is the incredibly high price we really pay for warm showers. I love the 1950s ads too, but not enough to saw any more out of the subfloor.

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  11. Oh my! I share your plight, if only slightly modified. A new dishwasher hook up leaked in a place where it was only detected from the outside. It was about about ready to surround our junction box with a lake. While Kyle the plumber was in the netherworld of our crawl space he detected a slight leak in a fitting that probably dates to a remodel in the 90's. Only a light drip, but it had created a bit of a crater.
    Thanks to those who can go into those spaces and work their skill.
    So now Norma's studio has a trap door, and you await a warm shower. Good luck in this "adventure."

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    1. Thanks Tom, I just came in from capping off plumbing to and from the old hot water heater in the pumphouse --it's at least 50 or 60 years old. Who could imagine it would fail? The new water heater I bought Thursday is in the back yard beside a booth I built, wired and plumbed 5 years ago for just such an event. New heater is guaranteed for 6 years. Times have changed, eh? Monday, the plumbers will help me install it right outside the bathroom, where one should have been put deep in the last century. What were people thinking back then? Pumphouse is 30 feet out the back door. An enigma. I'm looking forward to a normal life again. If your house has craters in its substrates, you know the drill.

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  12. For many years we have lived atop concrete floors, and in my experience there is much to be said for that. [At least it should stop our new timber house blowing away in a high wind!!] I take your point about grammar; I often think that if anyone wished to learn English from BBC TV broadcasts, they'd be on a hiding to nothing. Perhaps your broadcasting companies are better [?].

    Looking forward to the 'Part 2' of 'Floating on Hell.'

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    1. Dear Tom, I have been referring to our crawlspace as The River Styx. My guide is not the poet Virgil but someone younger and no end of heroic. I shall see him again on Monday. I have built additions to this old house on slabs, but have always been wary about plumbing under them --have heard too many tales of repairs needing jackhammmers.

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  13. I always suspected that the road to hell was paved with old newspaper ads from the 1950s, but this confirms it.

    I do hope the plumbing issues are cleared up soon...

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    1. Kind Harry, Thank you. One of the most remarkable things I found in the old newspapers is that the artists who drew the advert-visuals were credited and, if connected to a local ad-boutique, it was mentioned.

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  14. Can I clone you and put you to work at my place?�� I learned many years ago that Murphy’s Laws always apply to any task I undertook. I can’t even imagine what I’d find under my house. The thought both amuses me and terrifies me. BTW, I love the old newspapers you found. It’s a shame the builders hadn’t used money as insulation instead of newspapers. Maybe next time you visit Hell you’ll be rewarded with a treasure...hope springs eternal!

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    1. Agreed Red Kitten! Finding money would help with the help I've had to hire, but I do like the old newspapers. I turned 8 in 1957 and remember people looking great in those styles. As for cloning, I've had trouble enough putting up with one of myself when there's work to be done.

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    2. Geo, after Red Kitten finishes with you, I've got several projects at my place. Old styles are a hoot! What era do you like best?

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    3. Alas, Mildred, I am no longer a reliable repair person --being of an age where I need a lot of repair myself. Not that I'm afraid of work; I've got 2 guys working down that hatch I sawed and don't fear them at all. I like all styles except those requiring cage crinoline.

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  15. Haha...and to think..I've spent an entire lifetime wondering where the entrance to hell was!
    Seriously, though, I do hope you get it fixed soon. Cold showers? Arrg!!! My deepest sympathy...:/

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    1. I found the worst leak last night, a hot water pipe under the foundation wall. Warm showers tonight! Yay!

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  16. Plumbing problems can be a real nightmare. I'm so proud of you for finding and fixing the problem yourself. (The plumbers should give you a discount!) Enjoy that hot shower. You earned it.

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    1. Dear Susan, those plumbers definitely earned their pay being my downstairs neighbors for a week when we don't even have a downstairs.

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  17. You have my sympathy, Geo! I dread anything to do with plumbers. I am married to a wonderful guy, but a tool man he is not. I usually have to deal with plumbers and such. It is always stressful for me and hard on my wallet. May you not have to have them back anytime soon!

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    1. I second your closing wish, even though the plumbers were polite and respectful. They also didn't complain when I tried to help. Expensive? You bet. This crazy old farmhouse was 60 years overdue for a plumbing overhaul.

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