Sunday, June 02, 2013

the pipes, the pipes are calling

There was a day when household malfunctions were met with the steely eyes of Dad and his trusty tool box.

Faulty wiring?  Plugged drains?  Loose siding?  Television on the fritz?  Dad would fix it.

Well, some Dads.  Like my Uncle Frank, who could personally get a Coast Guard cutter back in operation.  Or install the ceiling fan in my family room -- with the electricity sill flowing.

My father's generation came from stock closer to the land than mine.  Living on farms made them self-reliant.  You either fixed what was broken or you did without.

My far-more-urbanized generation earned enough disposable income to masquerade as gentry -- hiring help to fix household problems.  We worked to pay other people to do tasks that we had never bothered to learn.

I have mentioned several times that living in Melaque reminds me a lot of living in Powers in the 1950s.  One unanticiated advantage is that I get to learn the skills I missed out on sixty years ago.

Like plumbing and electricity.

I told you in February that our church is constructing a multi-purpose building at the back of our lot (high society on the sand).  Primarily for storage.

The construction is in full swing.  Most of the work is being done by a local construction firm. But my friend , Lou Moodie, telephoned me on Saturday to ask if I would be interested in helping him install the electrical conduit and water line before the concrete floor is poured.  I jumped at the opportunity.

I have never come close to installing either utility.  I helped a bit with the installation of my lawn irrigation system in Salem.  But nothing like this.

Lou's fix-it background is more traditional than my own.  So, I took my lead from him.  He showed me how to cut pipe, to set up electrical boxes, to glue PVC pipe together with appropriate joints and jogs.  In general, how to be a third-rate plumbing and electrical assistant.

And I am not the least bit surprised to tell you I really enjoyed the work.  I created something with my hands that will benefit people years into the future.  When I am dead, water rushing through a pipe will still flush toilets.  Who can claim that type of immortality?

We are not quite done with this this portion of the project.  A few additional purchases on Monday morning and a couple hours of work should have the building ready for wires and water at the end of the summer.

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