Spring has officially arrived in 2017 and with it comes lots of duties—good ones and yucky ones—but it all seems to balance out. I am working the weeds, giving the flowers room to grow; have the pool almost ready once the water temp rises above the liking of the polar bears; and have mowed the grass four times. Planting will come a bit later. Those are all the good things, but there have been a couple that I could have done without.

So, the toilet seat in the upstairs bathroom finally bit the dust. It had been cracked for a while but remained adequately functional. That was until a week or so ago, when on an occasion during the night while visiting the ladies room, I almost fell on the floor. What was that about? Upon inspection, I immediately determined the cause: the seat had broken clean in half. Sigh. One more thing to fix.

I have installed toilet seats before and knew it would not be a challenge other than getting to town to buy the replacement, finding the tools and then tackling the relatively simple task. All in good time it was completed and I felt accomplished. Now, if I could just get the mechanism in the tank to stop running on without always having to “jiggle the johnnie.” All in good time.

Feeling good about life, I was walking across the backyard near the rear of the house when I noticed the ground was very wet. Right over the area where the septic line lay. I will not repeat here what I said to no one but myself then, but I was dismayed, to say the least. I was sure I had a broken sewer line, except that there was no odor.

I walked the entire area and found more wet ground and then I remembered that when the sump pump in the crawl space beneath the house expelled excess water it often overflowed the little ditch and seeped down to the entrance to the basement, grand word for a not-so-grand place.

But, wait, we had not had any significant rain to cause the pump to do its thing. My heart sank again. Oh, crappie, could there be another leak in those old copper pipes? Part of me did not want to know, but that was pure foolishness.

I crawled under the house and there it was: a shower in the basement.

I cut off the water which at least left me with cold water in both bathrooms, though nothing in the kitchen. I examined the leaks and their respective locations particularly relative to joints—don’t want to fool with joints and reassured myself that I had managed this before.

The next day, I was back under the house—once you get to the area where the furnace is you can stand up and the water pipes are directly overhead. I cut the damaged pipe loose, glued an extension of CVPC on one end and attached the two connectors. I turned the water back on and hooray: there were no leaks. It was tight and dry and by the way, shark bite connectors are the greatest invention for DIY plumbers, ever.

Leaving this abysmal space, I hurried into the house and tried the faucets. Success. There was both hot and cold flowing easily from each. I headed for a nice hot shower. It would be a good day.

Until next week, be well.

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Zann Nelson is an award -winning freelance writer specializing in historical investigations and is currently serving as Director of Montpelier’s African American Descendants’ Project. She can be reached at M16439@aol.com.

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