We make a pretty good team, Mr. A and I. I've always said the real tests in a marriage are if you can hang wallpaper, raise teenagers, build a house or run a business together and come out on the other side unscathed; we've done all four. And you don't get through 43 years of marital harmony without knowing the tasks that are among your spouses least favorite things to do. In this case, that happens to be sprinkler repairs. But when we had three that didn't turn and they all needed to be raised up, my roommate was forced to join in...and to his credit, he did so with a smile.
So we made the first trip to the home improvement store for new heads and risers...that was Thursday afternoon. But it was another day of excessive heat and we agreed to wait until after dinner to tackle the project. At the appointed hour, we dug out the first faulty sprinkler and readied the new one with its extension when we realized that wasn't going to work. We needed an adapter so it would all screw back together correctly. Since it was almost dark by the time we returned home from Trip #2, the repairs were put off until the next day.
Morning brought great progress and soon all three heads were turning again. And nary a cross word had been spoken. Good news...right? Well, not exactly. In investigating whether yet another head was working improperly, we found water bubbling out of the ground about three feet away. This was far more serious that a faulty head...and it took lots more digging too. Time for Trip #3 to purchase a whole new set of repair parts.
By now it's early afternoon. It's hot. We're sweaty and dirty. The only saving grace is that we had shade to work in and it was a relief when the water hit us as we were testing each cycle out at the end. The good news? The big repairs worked like a charm; nothing leaked. The bad? The head wouldn't turn. Not only that, one of the previously installed heads now looked more like a fountain than a sprinkler thanks to a defective part.
What do you want to do now? he says. And I'm smart enough to read between those lines. I volunteered to go get new heads and replace them and he could hit the shower. No need to press my luck since he hadn't complained about doing a job he hates. Besides, I can replace the heads; it's the other things I wasn't sure how to do. So off I went on Trip #4.
You know the first rule of home repair: Nothing can be done with only one trip to the home improvement store. And the second rule? Fixing things is good but doing it so you're still speaking at the end makes it a success.