I Fix Things

My brother Seth always wanted to be a "workerman"; he knew how to fix things. That's not my gift.

These last couple days have reached -35°C windchill. (Not, unfortunately, that magic -40°, where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet.) I have spent a great deal of time preparing. I moved a blow-up mattress to the side, between the wall and the bed, to protect me from the cold seeping through the wall. I covered in blankets, ran two electric heaters, and sometimes had the gas burners on.

Now, since the water needs to run continuously or it
Yes. That's ice. will freeze, the hot water can't be on all the time. It would burn out the heater, and waste a great deal of money on gas. Since there are separate pipes for the hot and cold water, both faucets must be on. So, when I want to take a shower, I have turn on the hot water heater, which takes about half an hour or more to heat up, to give three minutes of hot shower water, if the water isn't run continuously while you're in the shower. In order to heat up the water, I have to turn the hot water faucets off. So yesterday morning, I turned the hot water faucet off, turned the hot water heater on, and waited.

In about an hour the pipes had frozen up. Cursing my stupidity, for waiting too long, I opened the valves, turned the hot water heater off, unscrewed the wood panel over the pipes leading into the shower, and set up the hairdryer to automatically blow on the hot water pipe, and waited. And waited. There was no change. I've done this before, and after about an hour of blowing it works. But this time, it was too cold.

I was very depressed. I'm fine living in an RV in the middle of bitter cold. It's an adventure. But it's wholly different when I make a stupid mistake. So I sat here hoping and praying for thawed pipes.

Today I thought to open another cabinet beneath the stove, and traced the shower hot water pipe. I placed the hair dryer to automatically blow on it, and about an hour later- the glorious sound of a splurging outpouring of water!

I'm overjoyed, and off to shower.


momo said…
I'm impressed by your ability to reshape liabilities and mishaps into pivital moments, a writer's natural bent when it comes to reportage.

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