Saturday, July 02, 2005

The dream that wouldn't die 

No painting this weekend. No-sir-ee. No, this weekend is a plumbing weekend. Hoo-hah!

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but one of the big question marks on this year's to-do list was to have a shower put into our ancient domicile. You see, our house came showerless. It had one bathroom with one bathtub--take it or leave it. We took it since the house was cheap and had a view. We thought that some day we'd remodel and add showering capabilities, but of course, some day never comes.

Fast forward to this year. We had our initial meeting with the rental agent and he suggested putting in a shower so that we'd be able to get a bit more rent for the place. We thought, "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea." But then we looked at our post-porch finances and thought, "Maybe not."

At our second meeting with the agent, months later, he then suggested putting in a shower so that we'd be able to get a renter. We thought, "Aaaghh! We've got to do this!" But then we looked at our post-encephilitis-shot finances and thought, "With what money?"

Then we got a nice gift to be applied to our own bank account rather than our China account. We thought, "Hmmmm, maybe we can do the shower after all." But then we got an estimate from the recommended handyman and thought, "Mmmmaybe we better not. We don't trust estimates anymore."

But then Noodles remembered that a friend of ours, Ernesto, had done some major plumbing work for a camp up in the northern part of the state. And he and his wife had already offered us a day of labor to help us with our home improvement woes. So we swallowed our pride and asked him if he could do this for us. He scoped out the job and said that he could probably do it in about two days for the cost of supplies. Mrs. Ernesto said it would end up being four days, but most wives take a pessimistic views of their husband's proclaimed capabilities. We said, "Wellll, let's go for it."

So today was the second day of the shower project and Ernesto has made a really good start on it all. I've helped out a bit--mostly being an extra pair of hands. I've really felt like a kid again, helping out my dad. This is partly due to the fact that I know zilch about plumbing and partly due to the fact that Ernesto has so much more tools than I do. I have really been neglectful in my American male duty to accumulate tools. I'm still in a single tool box (not counting hand saws), while Ernesto brought three toolboxes over just for this job. (I'm guessing that he has an entire tool wall in his garage, built with his own hands. Or maybe whole banks of tool racks, just like that gun rack scene in The Matrix. That would be cool.) I've also been neglectful in getting a pair of steel toed shoes, which I discovered when I dropped a plumbing wrench on my foot. (My second thought, after "Ow!", was, "Oh, great, like I've got time to deal with a broken foot.")

But despite my deficiency in toolology, I did manage to be of some use. The weird thing was that I really regretted having to cut into the wall and the other acts of destruction needed to make this improvement. Once again I've seen firsthand how well this house was built and I hate having to screw up the original artisans' work just to add the luxury of a shower. But hey, such is the way of this world.