As I grow older (and older, and older) I realize that there are a few things that my Mother should have taught me, but for some reason she never did! When I have those "Ah-hah" moments, I pause and wonder if I taught my children all of the things that they will need to live a successful, "I refuse to pay a plumber" type of life.
You see, I recently moved. I'm living in a trailer deep in a hollow out in the middle of nowhere in West Virginia. It's not all that bad, except for the "not having a way to the store because I don't have a car" thing. The dogs have plenty of room to run, I can shoot squirrel from my back porch and most people have no idea where I am these days (I count the last one as a plus!).
The only thing I can really complain about is the fact that I have been having issues with water leaks! Lots and lots of water leaks......leaks from the pipes, leaking faucets, and, the one that is really driving me crazy, a leaking bathtub drain!
Hopefully I have all the leaking pipes fixed, and my landlord is suppose to fix the faucets, but he lives in another state and won't be here for a week or so. The one that is driving me crazy (crazier?) is the leaking bathtub drain. For those of you that have lived in a trailer, you realize that there is basically no way to reach the bathroom pipes unless the whole kit and caboodle has been redone so that the pipes are accessible This trailer has not been redone! The leak is right where the actual drain in the tub connects to the short pipe under the tub, yes folks there isn't much room under a tub in the in a trailer. I have tried to caulk it with silicon.....only it wasn't the correct type of silicon....so I had to get a different type of silicon. Once I had gotten the correct type silicon I had to contort myself into a flat pretzel (not only is there not much room to work on bathroom pipes in a trailer, it sort of difficult to stretch out in a comfortable manner to work under the tub) in order to try and caulk the right pipe with the right caulk! It wasn't easy, but I got it done.
Now, as I sit here typing my little heart out, there is a small part of my brain (yeah, I know, I have a small brain anyway, so it must be a really small part) wondering what is going to happen when I go in to take my shower. You see, I've put off showering this morning because I don't want to spend the next two hours using my carpet cleaner to suck excess water out of the carpet in my tiny bathroom. It wouldn't be so bad, but I have to move the washer in order to get all of the water....and when I move the washer I have no where to sit the carpet cleaner except in the bathtub which causes a problem because the water is on the FLOOR, not in the tub!! Besides, when I move the washer I am trapped in the bathroom unless I crawl out over the damn thing. And of course, if I move the washer someone will either call or knock on the door, meaning that I HAVE to crawl over the stupid washer, usually spraining, tearing or bruising along on the way!!
So, what does all of this have to do with "things my mother should have taught me, but didn't"? Well, Mom taught me to cook, and how to sew. She taught me how to sight in a rifle, where the best kill shot is on a deer and the easiest way to skin a squirrel. She taught me how to rip down old "horse hair" plaster, put up new roll insulation and then paneling. She taught me how to change an alternator in a 1968 Chevy Impala and that you should never leave on a trip until you've checked the fluids, the lights and the tire pressure. She taught me the importance of believing in God, the joy of singing in Church and that a woman never wears slacks in a Church house. (She was sort of old fashioned on that one.)
But she never taught me how to deal with leaking pipes or how to contort myself into a "flat pretzel" in order to caulk under a tub!! She would have had Dad fix it....or else called someone else to do it....but she never would have called a plumber!! She would have washed with the water hose in the yard before she called a plumber. So I guess you could say she taught me how to be stubborn?? Or would that be tenacious? Or thrifty?
Other things my mother never taught me, but should have.........how to NOT fall in the river when you are trying to get some good reflection pictures, the best way to get rid of a copperhead that lives under your porch without being bitten, how many paw-paws it takes to make paw-paw bread (she didn't like paw-paw bread) and what to do when your fire alarm keeps going off and there is no fire (and the batteries are good, and the button isn't stuck).
I've come into contact with many things that have perplexed me, many things that have made me wonder "Why didn't my Mother teach what to do in a situation like this?". But each time I do have one of those "Oh, shit, now what" moments, I use the one thing that my Mother DID teach me.......A woman can take care of herself, and her family, with dignity, grace and humor, no matter what the circumstances are.
So I'm off to see if there will be a massive amount of water in the carpet around the tub after I take my shower. Even if there is, I know I'll be able to deal with it, hopefully with a little dignity, a little grace and a lot of humor!
Thank you Mom!!! I love you and I miss you more every day!