From end to end, this was a pretty busy day. Besides my usual day of “work from home,” I had the added task of the exercises given me by the physical therapist yesterday. And I opted to make a fresh loaf of Italian bread to go with the chicken noodle soup I had planned for dinner – using the remains of the rotisserie chicken we had yesterday. After dinner, I finished the installation of the sink I started replacing Sunday in the kids’ bathroom. The old one was porcelain over metal, so the overflow was bare metal inside. After over 30 years: rusted out. And it was Garbage Day – a weekly holiday where I get to purge all the garbage that has built up during the week, as well as get rid of some of the “I can fix thats” that have accumulated around the house over the past 30 years.
The sink. I’d swear sometimes this house was built as a first-time VoTech project by some high school kids with limited supervision. There is absolutely no compliance in the drain plumbing for that sink. I put the sink in place Sunday afternoon, originally planning to let the adhesive caulk cure overnight, and finish it on Monday. Best laid plans, and all that. Here it is Wednesday. In any case, the adhesive caulk is nicely cured, and no chance of the sink slipping around as I connect the plumbing. The tailpiece is just about 1/4″ off-center to the PVC plumbing kludged together by the high school kids, but it’s plastic, and there is a fairly large and compliant rubber doughnut between it and the bottom of the sink. Should be a piece of cake.
Nope. The tailpiece tilted enough to allow water to bypass and drip down the side of it.
Ordinarily, I would have had few qualms about taking some measurements, running up to Home Depot, and putting together a collection of PVC fittings that would make it work. Ordinarily. There hasn’t been “ordinarily” since early 2020. All I wanted was for this task to be done. So I took it apart, packed more putty onto the top of the tailpiece, threaded it back on, and then strong-armed the fittings together and wrenched on that tailpiece until the drips stopped. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll hit some of the PVC with the heat gun to “relax” the set-up a bit. Maybe not. I guess it will be good enough since I’ll likely be ripping that bathroom out and replacing everything within the next few years, anyway. 1970s Harvest Gold is hard to find replacement parts for these days… Plus, I’d like to redo all that plumbing so that it at least LOOKS planned.
What does this have to do with life after my darling Kim? A few things, I guess. One, I don’t have my help-mate anymore. She wouldn’t have been shoulder-to-shoulder with me under the sink, but she’d be there to hand me this or hand me that. And she loved going to Home Depot with me to look at different things and dream of them in our home while I sorted through the aisles for whatever I needed to complete the current project at hand. She called them our “Home Depot Dates”, telling the kids “I’m going with your dad on a date to Home Depot.” It all started maybe 16 or so years ago while out on our wedding anniversary date, I asked if it would be OK if we stopped at Home Depot to look at something first. The trips were never a big deal, and we rarely came home with one of those dream items, but it was one of “our things”.
Making dinner, she’d be there telling me how good it smelled, or filling the role of guinea pig for the first taste of some new concoction I’d have dreamed up. Or she’d simply slip in behind me and give me a big hug around the waist laying her head against my shoulder as I worked at the sink. I always loved those hugs, but I never appreciated them the way I do now that I no longer get them.
Even sitting at my “work-from-home” workstation, she’d come up from behind and give me a hug and a kiss on the cheek while I was in meetings. She called it “harassing me.”
I guess we hugged a lot. Nothing wrong with that. If you’re reading this, take my advice: go find your significant other and give them a hug. Relish it. Relish every one. Store them up. Because honestly: you never know when that hug you just gave or received may be the last. Shoot: give them a kiss, too. The same goes for kisses.