Sunday, September 04, 2005

Birthdays and Water Filters

What do these two things have in common? Normally nothing, except that is what happened yesterday, my dad's birthday and helping install a whole house water filter at my brothers house. Both of which on thier own would be an excuse for the family to get together, but combine them and you have one hell of a hootenanny!!

OK, not really a hootenanny, but a hell of a good time none the less.

It is always a good time when the men in the family get together to work on a project. Actually one of us would be fully capable of doing most of these projects on our own, with a few screw ups along the way to final completion. But it is just a whole lot more fun to have your parents and siblings involved to contribute to the many more infinate ways to possibly screw up and have people not only laughing with you but at you in a good natured way! We have done this for years over many a project and will hopefully be doing this for many more years to come.

So anyway, Dad was over helping my brother Eric put in the water filter. Yesterday was also Dad's birthday and we were going over to celebrate his birthday and since we were going to be ther anyway dad offered to help Eric with installing the water filter. I arrived about an hour and a half later and went down into the basement. Things looked like they were proceeding right along.... a work of art was created out of copper tubing and gate valves in order to create a bypass and 'loop' for directing water either through or around the filter. It looked exactly as it should (which was of course an improvement over the directions contained with the filter as over the years we have learned that obviously the people who write the directions have no clue as to the item they are writing about.) because we have a knack for doing things the right way.

As I said I went downstairs and saw that things were moving along at a good pace. Eric was about to cut the pipe coming out of the pressure tank which 'feeds' water to the house, when I had to open my mouth and say "There is no give anywhere in that pipe, how are you going to insert the filter assembly?" At this point Eric looks at my dad and all works stops. Now I said this, not because I am the 'smart one', nothing of the kind...I just happened to come along with a fresh view after Dad and Eric had been looking at the whole thing for almost a couple of hours. I am sure had the roles been reversed, that the newest arrival would have noticed the same thing.

Now indeed this pipe is where the filter needs to be inserted, however the pipe is rigidly fastened at either side of the area that is to be cut out, and there is no way to insert the plumbing assembly for the filter.... I feel bad that I have caused all work to cease, but I am glad that I said something before the pipe was cut...something about measure 8 times and cut once was bouncing around in my head.

So as the three of us pondered about what should be done we came up with the solution (as we always may take a while, but we are always able to figure things out..) A run to the hardware store was made to aquire the needed parts and after a couple of beers, a number of soldered joints (good job Eric !) and about 6 hours (including a dinner break) the filter was installed and the house again had running water!!

Of course Murphy (of Murphy's Law fame) had to visit during the time the water was off. During dinner my youngest niece began to choke on items that she shoveled into her mouth (as kids will do..). Well after 4 adults sprung into action and she stopped choking, she proceeded to throw up. First thing everyone thinks of is "Get a wet rag" water. Take her into the bathroom and rinse her water. Thank god for wet wipes!

Well after trips to the hardware store, finishing installing the filter, eating dinner, baby excitement and a few other things. We finally sat down for Dad's birthday cake. Made by my Mom and very good of course. We all had some good laughs about the happenings of the day.

Why am I telling you this? Because it was part of my life, and it tells you about my family and any good family really. It doesn't matter what you are doing, the fact that you are doing it together, and that people are there because they care and want to be there, that is family. The ability to laugh at each other and yourself during mishaps and follies, that is family. And I wouldn't trade mine for anything. The past few years my family and a couple of really good friends (you know who you are) who are like family, have been there for me through some rough times, times when I wasn't sure which end was up, and even darker times. Without them who knows what my life would be like today, and I thank them with much gratitude. They have stuck with me and believed in me....... that is family.


Blogger Kemp said...

"We are fam-a-lee-..."

9:59 PM  

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