I called David’s wife every day to see how David was doing and if he came out of his coma.
I felt so helpless.
A lot of “what ifs” came and went with my thoughts. One was unthinkable.
Reflection was routine. I was constantly, thinking about him and what happened. I was truly powerless. The worst part for me was that I had no control over any of it and I hated being in that situation.
I had to move on. He would want that and I had no alternative.
I knew more about needle work ,crochet, and knitting than I did plumbing.
Every inch of the plumbing in the basement had been ripped out.
Twelve hundred dollars of plumbing parts were sitting in my garage and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. To add to this, the plumbing problem that I had uncovered was not anticipated or budgeted.
My budget was not only on a diet, it was starving. It wasn’t really a realistic budget; it was more like a wish list.
I’m sure that you know the type; where the actual costs are near double the estimate and the cost of labor to do the project, three times.
In my mind I justified it by telling myself that it was work that had to be done. I reminded myself that a big part of it was that it costs more to do it the right way. I hoped that my rationale would make me feel better about things.
That is how the term, “wishful budget”, came into existence.
Only one thing left to do; do the plumbing work myself.
“I could do it,” I told myself, “I could do it.” Over and over I keep telling myself this.
But in reality, I broke into a cold sweat because I had no clue where to even start; none.
I stared at the old plumbing I removed. A lot of it was still intact. It suddenly came to me. I figured that if I just copied what I took out by using like-pieces that I had bought with David, it would work out.
I had no clue what I was doing but, I had some hope now. That hopeless feeling left. I even felt a big smug now that I thought I had solved my plumbing problems.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Perhaps the gases from the old plumbing had overtaken me.
I went to work priming, fitting, gluing, and setting all the plumbing parts in the new sand I had replaced.
Did I mention that I had to dig down and replace two plus feet of sand in the basement sub floor?
If you ever want to find out how tough you really are, I suggest you do this. Other wise take word that this is listed on the fun scale in the remodels dictionary between the words good and gonorrhea.
Don’t forget, the packing of the sand in three inch lifts with a hand tamper to 100% density so the cement floor doesn’t crack, settle and leave a void under the cement.
I would rather have my fingernails pulled out one by one with pliers than do that again.
One good thing came of this. I never ever again claimed, when viewing those competing in a triathlon, “I could do that!”
I finally finished that part of the roughed-in plumbing, but it took hundreds of trips up and down the stairs to the dumpster, and to the sand-pile that seemed to be located about five miles from my basement floor.
With great confidence, I called the city building inspector to do a rough-in inspection. After all, I thought, I had copied what had existed and he surely wouldn’t find anything wrong with that. I even thought he might say, “Nice job for one who isn’t a master plumber”.
It looked darn good to me. I was thinking, gee this plumbing isn’t so hard. I was feeling pretty good about all the money I had saved myself. The job I had just completed looked pretty professional to me. But what did I know?
The city plumbing inspector arrived promptly at 9 AM, our appointment time. I greeted him at the door and made cheery small-talk. I was so confidant of my work.
He mentioned that he had reviewed the plan of the project which I had submitted for a building permit, so he was somewhat familiar with this project.
He did say that he was surprised that I hadn’t decided to tear down the house.
I wondered why he said that.
I took him to the basement and showed him my masterpiece. He got very quiet as he looked over the installation of the new plumbing.
Several minutes passed; not a word was said. The silence was beginning to get to me.
That feeling was beginning to return. It is that feeling you get when know you are in trouble but just not sure how much or how bad.
One word seems to describe it; trouble.
The thought that popped into my mind as he was pacing back and forth was, “I’m screwed”.
That helpless sinking feeling had returned.
The inspector finally broke the silence.
“I wish you had asked me to help you with this layout before you glued it all up and installed it.” he said, almost apologetically, “But, I’m sorry, this all has to come out.”
He was filling out a red tag at this point.
He attached this to the main building permit I had so confidently posted.
All I could think of now was, “What the hell I was going to do now?”
I had no clue; none.
copy write all rights reserved D.Jerzak 04-15-07