• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Friday, March 23, 2012


Heroic: pertaining to, or after the manner of, a hero.
Thought to be an intermediary between Gods and men;
daring, gallant, stout, valiant, brave, laudable, epic, superhuman,
courageous, intrepid, extreme, illustrious. 

And I would add 'thrifty, awesome, inspired and impressive'.

Does the definition above pertain to you?
Why not?

Anyone can choose to be a hero.
Any day, any place, any time.
Every day, every place, every time ...

Dare to be kind.
Stand up for what is right.
Mediate for someone - just help them out.

Did anyone ever 'mediate' for you?
That is a hero.

I caught a picture of a hero, in action, last night.

there is something ironic and perhaps even iconic about this photo ... 
The kitchen at our son's rental was flooding.
How wet? Empty a large yogurt container every 2 hours.
Yes that IS too wet to wait. Those are 32 oz containers.
That is a quart an hour!

Son away at school; dad = hero on the way.
Dad replaces ancient corroded faucet that is ready to blow out.

And doing all this with a spouse in tow is definitely gallant.
Not to mention doing it for the 'damsel'/ tenant in distress.
And the house - ah yes that old dame will live on now.


Easy right?

Sure, if you are a plumber.
Or if you are a handyman.
And if you have required tools.
Not to mention if you live nearby - sort of ...

Nope. No. None of the above paragraph applies ...
except lives nearby - within 2 hours anyway ...

BUT being a hero, dad goes.

After a brief inspection we hurry to the hardware store. A new faucet is needed. We arrive 15 minutes before closing time. Kind staff are mercifully helpful. They make time to answer questions as the store closes. They are illustrious heroes to us. We buy the recommended tools and supplies.

I think asking for help is brave, maybe even epic.
I hate humbling myself to 'non-handy/unskilled' status.
I think giving help, even if it is your job, is also heroic.

Before embarking we grabbed a lot of tools hanging out at our house.
 The box has a long list. Some, checked, we have. Some we don't.
Some we wonder about.  Some, like caulking, we left home. We buy it.
The store is closing! Rats, utility knife is at home - we decide to try to get by.
  Seriously - a hacksaw? maybe that would have helped open the packaging!

Hero does not buy the extensive, expensive list on the box.
An essential item, forgotten at home, is not even listed: googles.
(And from now on I will also throw in 'cleanup' supplies.)

High in the cabinet under a sink it is dark.
Hero courageously borrows flashlight from damsel in distress.
Don't you hate having to ask to borrow things?
Kind, well prepared damsel has needed flashlight.
Hero rescues kitchen.

This stuff is heroic. All of it.
I told Papa he is awesome.
I admire doers - people willing to make an effort.

Being willing to try is extremely laudable, and definitely intrepid.
Especially when you have never done anything like this before.

Anyone that can lay backwards under a sink, over the ledge of the cabinet, with their arms reaching up to twist corroded bolts while water drips onto their head is surely stout in constitution, AND valiant and diligent in character - actually - I am sure they are superhuman! Especially when recovering from a serious root canal the day before - serious enough to merit time off work.

You can see the water seeping up from beneath.  Kind of hard on a floor!
And can you identify this unknown object?
It was under the tap, on a bolt resisting removal.
The one that required a socket wrench.
Since when do you need a socket wrench to fix a sink?
We left those at home. Hero had to buy one.
Wait ... that WAS the needed socket wrench? OH!!!
That inspiration comes hours afterwards, on the way home.
It would not have worked anyway. It was plastic.
Maybe when that bolt was all jumbled on but not now.
Everything was too corroded.

I commented that I thought he was very admirable.
He commented about his lack of knowledge.

He worried about how long it was taking, and he had concerns if he was doing it 'properly' - whatever that is. We decided that no spouting, spraying or dripping qualifies as 'properly'.

I supposed a plumber would have all the equipment, tools, supplies and knowledge to do the tap replacement in a fraction of the time, at an exponential price. I also supposed a plumber may not know if he will have another job tomorrow or next week. Perhaps it depends on not only how reliable and dependable said plumber is but also on how competitive prices are.

It may depend on how many thrifty heroes exist and how successful the local hardware/department store heroes are at selling parts and giving directions - not to mention if said directions can be followed and the missing tidbits filled in with good common sense combined with inspiration.

Not surprisingly, that hose just would not connect with this orange cap on it ...
no matter what, even if the directions said to just push it into place ...
I submit photo evidence that the instruction sheet left out directions to remove the small orange cap from the sprayer hose ... and it does not even show in any pictures.  After the whole shebang was dropped on the floor in abject resignation it fell off. "Hey, what is this?" hero asks no one. I question ... might it be a filter of some kind? No - it is solid - except a small hole in the very center. And the hose will NOT attach with it. The hose clips easily into place and works fine without it.

Then the water supply lines will not reattach. The new faucet has inlet pipes several inches shorter than the previous ones. WHAT?!?!?

Hero makes multiple trips to the local department store - it is open.Twenty and a half inches would be long enough for one but the other needs to be at least 24 " long. The store only carries 12'' and 20" supply lines.  There does happen to be one 36" line. It is different and cheaply made but it will do.

 The hardware store assured us those would not need to be replaced. They were in good condition - but just happened to be unpredictably short. Hero tries to figure out if a longer and a shorter line can be joined. There are no adapters and they can not be screwed together.

Despite the label claims, that these are 1/2" to 1/2",
one end will not attach. It is too small.  

Desperate hero prays for inspiration.
That is always what real heroes do - they pray - all the time.
He picks up two supply lines and lays them side by side.
Although labeled identically, one is 1/2" longer.
That may be enough.

Hero goes to customer service for the third time.
The hero working there is nice. He is enjoying his work.
Hero helps hero exchange short supply line for longer supply line.

Hero finishes replacement. Hours have elapsed.
Hero goes to drive-thru for hamburger/milkshake supper.
Some heroes work there to pay for their needs.
Hero drives 2 hours to get home.
Hero reads scriptures and goes to bed.
Even heroes need scripture study and sleep.

Hero wonders if a plumber might be able to do his job.
I suppose they could not.
It is highly trained and specialized.
It has taken hero years to learn and relearn WAC's.
He is a hero every day to those needing assistance.
He relies on inspiration and prays for it every day.
AND he goes to work - every day.
Except when he needs a root canal.

We are surrounded by heroes.
Some give more. Some give less.
Some do a little. Some do their best.

Do I do my best every day?
Do I serve others? all others?
Do I speak kindly? especially to my spouse and children?
Am I gentle and respectful? especially to my parents?
Am I concerned for others? Am I patient? loving?
Do I show gratitude? Do I say thank you?

Am I doing my best?