Last week’s column

Orange County Reg­is­ter — North County News-Tribune; Date: Sept. 26, 2019; Sec­tion: News; Page Num­ber: A5

Life does not want an orga­nized schedule

When it comes to sched­ules, there are peo­ple who pre­cisely orga­nize their days and peo­ple who roam through the hours like feral cats. I am the orga­ni­za­tional type.

I’d like to feel supe­rior about that, but hav­ing a sched­ule gets me into trou­ble sometimes.

Last Sat­ur­day, I got into a tug-of-war with one of the les­son horses. I wanted to hold her hoof to clean it. She wanted to stand on it. At one point, she wrenched her foot away so vio­lently, the motion twisted my back.

On Sun­day, I could not stand upright with­out walk­ing my hands up my thighs and weep­ing a lit­tle. I made it through my day’s errands with the help of Advil, but had to go home and rest. Although I was in pain, I was mostly grumpy.

This was going to inter­fere with my schedule.

Tues­day is when the plumb­ing broke. I awoke to low water pres­sure and the sound of run­ning water. Step­ping out­side, I saw a small but sig­nif­i­cant stream bur­bling from our front yard, down the steps, across the side­walk, and into the street.

This would have been a job for Dale, but he was in Boston at a golf tour­na­ment, so I did the next best thing. I sent him a video of the leak­ing yard with the text, “Help.”

I’m not com­pletely clue­less about how plumb­ing works. I knew I could turn the water off at the street. I also knew I needed a spe­cial tool to turn the lever.

Unfor­tu­nately, I never know where Dale keeps these things.

By the time I called the plumber, my neigh­bor came to my res­cue with his shut­off tool. He got the water turned off and left his tool with me. In the mean­time, Dale called and told me where our tool was.

He also wanted me to root around in the mud, look­ing for the sprin­kler shut­off valve. This did noth­ing for my back, but I did it, whim­per­ing all the way. By that time, the plumber arrived, capped off a pipe, and promised to come out and fix it after Dale got home.

If only the pipe had cooperated.

My back was still scream­ing, but I had planned to go to the City Coun­cil meet­ing, and I was not going to can­cel my plan just because of unex­pected calamities.

After swal­low­ing more Advil and break­ing out the Lido­caine patches they sent me home with after my gall blad­der surgery, I show­ered and dressed. I opened the front door, stepped out, and saw it.

A geyser was now shoot­ing out of my yard, into the street.

Curs­ing all the way, I grabbed the shut­off tool, turned off our water, and called the plumber. Then I went to the meet­ing, dar­ing Life to throw one more prob­lem my way.

Wes the plumber was at my house early the next morn­ing. He spent hours replac­ing PVC joints to keep every­thing from leak­ing and burst­ing, and soon I had water again.

Dale came home the fol­low­ing week. I adore him, but I was never so happy to see him. He didn’t walk right in the door. First, he stopped to look at the repaired pipes. I understood.

My back still hurts a lit­tle, but I don’t care. The plumb­ing is now his respon­si­bil­ity. He can add “fix the pipes” to his schedule—and I can delete it from mine.

Long­time Pla­cen­tia res­i­dent Gayle Car­line tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, com­puter whiz and horse­woman. E-mail her at [email protected].

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