Monday, August 12, 2013

Can We Talk Toilets?

I am programmed to seek the lesson - the gift - in adversity, but this weekend almost had me bewildered, baffled and befuddled. Almost.

At first flush, it should have been a showstopper weekend at the cottage, with long awaited sunshine, and temps that finally broke 20 degrees Celsius. In and around the usual swimming and canoeing, Hubby planned on working on his beloved outhouse and installing the new special order, comfort height, high efficiency, gleaming toilet.

He puttered away at the outhouse, erecting two of the four walls while I quietly chanted the mantra Ed from Home Depot told me, "A good carpenter is someone who makes his mistakes look pretty". Things were looking promising and visions of late afternoon sit-downs amid green forests danced in my head.

Then he got ambitious. Last year when he yanked off the toilet to replace it with a new model, we discovered that the standard toilets are too long to fit between the drain and the wall. With a depleted sigh and a grunt he hoisted the old one back on until we could come up with plan B.

Plan B was a special order toilet with a 10 inch (rather than 12) rough in. We waited 6 weeks and then picked it up at Home Depot, along with a new, slow closing, no slamming seat!

We raced home and he got the new one on only to realize that the water connector hose was 2 inches too short for the newer, taller toilet! Never mind that the new toilet was the wrong shape (they gave us an elongated instead of a round) and the new toilet seat didn't' fit! Hubby released a subtle gasp of frustration.

No problem; we zipped back into the Home Depot to exchange the seat and get a longer hose. We roared back to the cottage to connect - turned the water on - and it leaked like a fountain. Poor Hubby!

We He checked the connections and saw that inside the opening was slightly different from the original. Not to be defeated, we troddled off to the village General Store where the selection of connecting hoses exceeded that of HD's. We found a 16 inch hose that matched with the original and drove gleefully back to the cottage - hooked it up - held our collective breath, turned on the water - and it leaked as badly as the other new one.

By then we were just using the toilet by manually filling the tank and were totally frustrated. This disappointment seemed to fuel the need to pee every twenty minutes - me - not hubby.

We surrendered, and I poured a wine spritzer. I called my trusty go-to guy  Jim and asked him if he knew a local plumber. I explained the whole mess and he thinks we need a new valve as well to update the fitting. He said he would come over first thing Monday morning and if he can't fix it, he will get it done for us by Wed morning -- not to worry. I think I told him I loved him...

A weight was lifted and hubby and I stole a hour by the lake pretending all was well with our world... and when the loon sailed by with his haunting greeting, it was. We stayed extra late to enjoy a quiet dinner, amidst the trees, overlooking the vista hand painted by a crafty Creator.

And most of all, I found the gift in this toilet turmoil. It made me appreciate the gleaming throne we call a toilet, and reminded me that I am one of the privileged on the planet that has one. You just don't know what you have 'til it's gone. And that's a flush!

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