Every time I think I’ve got things under control, I am reminded I don’t. This was the week a couple of simple things were supposed to happen. One of them was that Owen was going to install my new faucet for the kitchen sink. He found the basin tool so when he showed up to do it, he was psyched. We had already taken all that stuff out from under the sink.
When Owen got down there and looked at it, he came back up.
“You need,” he said, “A plumber.”
He showed me why. Every fitting and pipe was covered with rust and that crusty green stuff. Everything that was supposed to turn was grafted into place. When we had last taken stuff out from under the sink, it hadn’t looked bad, so what had happened? It was dry. No pools of water. We had a leak, but the leak was on the faucet itself and flowed into the sink.
I sighed. Owen gave me the name of his plumber, said the guy was honest and reasonably priced — something you don’t usually hear about plumbers. I brooded about money for a while, but ultimately, there wasn’t any choice. We needed a plumber.
And so, I called the plumber and he came. It turns out there were leaks all along the old pipes. Very tiny leaks … just big enough to corrode everything.
He replaced all the valves and the copper pipes from the basement to the kitchen and bathroom and installed the faucet. $365 later, we had shiny new pipes and each worked like it was supposed to. I’m not sure they were working this well when we bought the house 19 years ago.
I wrote a check, sighing even more heavily. At least I hadn’t yet started the work on the chimney, mainly because it was raining every day. You can’t mortar in the rain. Not to mention the cold and the wind.
Then there was the remote control that makes our bed go up and down. The bed is 15 years old. I discovered this by removing the innards of the remote and reading the label which clearly said 2004.
But for all fifteen years, the bed has worked flawlessly. It came with a lifetime guarantee, too … except that the company that made it went out of business three years ago, leaving a lot of distraught bed owners of which I am one. I knew that one day, something would happen.
Every other time something happened, I rebooted the bed. It’s just like rebooting a computer. Unplug it. Count to 30, slowly. Then add another 10 — to be sure. Plug it back in. Voila! It’s fixed.
For some reason, the idea of rebooting the bed always makes me laugh.
If that didn’t work, the remote needed new batteries. Which made me realize that we are — again — out of AAA batteries. Everything used to be AAs, but now everything is AAA. I ordered more rechargeables as well as a set of regular lithiums because sometimes, rechargeables don’t work. Don’t ask me why. I do not know.
I changed the batteries in the remote. The bed still didn’t move.
I hauled the mattress sideways so I could wriggle behind it to unplug and re-plug the bed again. That didn’t seem to work. I figured the remote wasn’t doing its thing, so I went looking for a replacement remote. Amazon had one and the remote they showed in the advertisement was identical to the one I was holding in my hand. A new version of it would cost $120 — a lot of money for a remote, but a lot cheaper than replacing the bed.
The day after the plumber left, the remote arrived. I took my last four recharged AAA batteries and put them in the remote. I unplugged the bed and then plugged it in again– after hauling the mattress off the bed and feeling the muscles in my shoulders go rigid.
The remote didn’t show any sign of life. Forget about whether it made the bed move. It didn’t light up when a button was pressed. It was broken.
I called the number printed on the back of the remote. They said I needed to push the light on the black brick-shaped thingie under the bed. There was no black brick-shaped thingie under the bed or at least, I couldn’t see one.
Our bed is really heavy. Garry and I together couldn’t move it. I’m pretty sure that Garry, me, Owen and a couple of other people couldn’t move it either. It’s all wood and the “engine” is steel. The mattress weighs 100 pounds. At least.
It turns out this was the right remote, but it was broken. But, it turned out that there were a lot of models of this bed. Mine was an early model — one of only TWO models that would not work with this remote. Not to fear, they would sell me one that would work — for a less than half the price of the one I’d bought from Amazon. I could return the broken one.
So I ordered another remote, put in for a replacement for the remote from Amazon … and just on a whim, I took the newly charged batteries and put them back in the OLD remote.
Garry said it was a miracle.
I think I’ll turn the heat down and go to bed. It has been a long week.