Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This pugnacious tuft of grass teaches a valuable lesson: flourish where you are. Make the best of what you have. A few years ago I spotted it growing out of a rusty utility access hatch in a busy loading dock. Unconcerned by its less-than-glamorous surroundings, the little critter looked HAPPY! Certainly had it been given a choice it probably would have preferred a sunny spot on a fertile hillside, but that's not where the seed happened to fall. Still, it could have sprouted in a far worse place than the loading dock. Nourishing muddy water runs over it every time it rains; its roots are protected under a shield of cast iron; it's just beyond reach of truck tires - and it's likely to be left alone, unnoticed and unmolested. Whereas if it had sprung up in the middle of a manicured bed of petunias it might even now be shriveling in the compost bin. Guess it's all in how you look at it.

I tried to keep that in mind this week when the bathroom sink clogged. At that miserable moment oh how I longed for one of those glorious homes showcased on the looky-lou DIY programs - three bathrooms with double sinks and garden tubs (what the heck is a "garden tub" anyway? There's never a garden in sight.) But no, my lot was one tiny bathroom with a solitary sink that had decided to become a frog pond.

It had done this once before. That's the way things go when you have elderly plumbing. That time I called in a professional plumber who snaked the drain, trashed my bathroom and left me with a budget-breaker of a bill. Once bitten, twice shy, I say. So this time I marched up to Fred Meyer, bought myself a pipe wrench and a clever little red pipe auger and proceeded to wrench and auger until the bathroom looked like the aftermath of a dirt-bike demolition derby. Pipes and sludge and muddy water everywhere. But I thought I'd fixed the problem. Until I got it all put back together and turned on the faucet. And the water rose to the rim with nary a trickle exiting the drain pipe.

You'd think a few extra days of brushing teeth and washing my face under the bathtub faucet would have motivated me to "woman-up" and call a plumber. Wouldn't you think? But I was still wracking my brain for plan B when I took Mom to Mother's Day services at her church. Frankly, I had underestimated my mother - she'd somehow sent word out among the church ladies that we had a plumbing issue. (Must have gotten tired of waiting for me to solve the problem.) Lo and behold, the plumbing adept husbands of the congregation flocked to our rescue right after services! Thanks to Brian and Jeff we can once more use our sink! Oh the simple pleasures of washing your hands in the bathroom!

What has this got to do with the grass growing in the loading dock, you ask. Darned if I know. Seems I got a bit off topic - which happens a lot around here. Though I might observe that like that tough little weed, Mom made the best of the resources available to her to get the job done. Where there's a will, there's a way. Good going, gal!

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