Orange County Register — North County News; Date: April 19, 2018; Section: News; Page Number: A4
WHAT A DAY
Old age isn’t just for life forms
My house, much like myself, is growing older. This is not a happy fact, even if everyone I meet tells me, considering the alternative, it’s not that bad. Most of these people happen to be younger than me.
Wait until they spend their nights visiting the bathroom once an hour, and are so sleep-deprived the next morning, they put quinoa in the coffee maker. Not that I’ve ever done that.
Like me, our house has plumbing issues. We haven’t had anything major, but I do live in fear of that “slab leak” everyone seems to experience. My good friend has had two in a row and is now living in her kitchen while the entire house is re-plumbed.
At that point, I’d raze the whole thing and rebuild.
Our house has different plumbing quirks for each room. I keep telling myself they are just quirks, and we are fine as long as they don’t band together and attack us as some kind of water leak gang.
In the kitchen, we have a phantom leak. When we got the new refrigerator, I cleaned the spray cans and bottles from under the sink, thinking they might have to fiddle with water and pipes. Everything I removed was moist on the bottom. I wiped the cabinet floor, and bought plastic bins to organize the area, and hopefully, keep everything’s bottom dry.
Each day since, I open the cabinet under the sink, and feel around the floor and the bins. It’s all bone dry.
I had told Dale about the possible leak under the kitchen sink, so now he checks, too. He is convinced I am crazy. I think he already had his suspicions.
Our master bathroom has a problem with the mineral buildup on our faucets. It had gotten to the point of only having one useable sink in a two-sink bathroom. I bought new faucets and asked Dale if I should call the plumber. He said no, he’d fix them.
He worked all day to take one faucet apart, then said, “Call the plumber.”
I admit, I am the procrastinator in this tale. I didn’t want to call the plumber until I had cleared out the cabinets under both sinks. I didn’t want to clear out the cabinets because, well, who wants to do that job? A year later, I still hadn’t done it.
After the last horse show, I came home and found boxes of junk in the bathroom, and new sinks installed. It took another week or so before Dale had stopped all the leaks created when he put on new shutoff valves, but it was worth it. We now have two working sinks.
We also have boxes of stuff to clean out.
The guest bathroom has its own flaw—the toilet. When flushed, the refilling water sounds as if it’s being shaken loose from a small container, or a massive tree root, or the monster that’s supposed to be in the closet, but there’s no room for him and he had to move in, under the slab. Maybe it’s being shaken loose from the slab.
Each time it flushes, I remind myself where the shutoff valve is for the whole house, then I wait. One of these days, something’s going to blow.
In the meantime, it will be me and the plumbing, up every night, making quinoa coffee every morning. We’ll grow old together.
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].