2009.09.10 But is it truly broken?

Written by David Green.

 By DAVID GREEN

I’m quite proud of what’s shown in that photo above. I think it shows some pretty good ingenuity.btw.faucet.jpg

It’s our kitchen faucet, by the way.

I was preparing to wash dishes a week ago Saturday. I filled the dishpan with hot water, reached to turn off the flow and it wouldn’t stop.

That happened to Colleen a few weeks ago but she was able to jiggle it back into the off position. I was jiggling like Santa’s belly and getting nowhere but a little frantic.

I was expecting an important phone call, too, and I knew this is when it would come. I ran to the basement and shut off the water, then started taking the faucet apart.

I figured out how to shut it off and on so I turned the water back on and sure enough, I just had to lift that screw with a pair of needle-nose pliers.

I tried and tried to figure out how to put the thing back together again but failed. Nothing seemed broken or missing, but it was a busy weekend and we were going to have to stick with the pliers.

I later explained the procedure to Colleen and was careful to point out that this wasn’t a “fix,” just a temporary measure to enable use of the faucet. For a month or so.

But I couldn’t wait for Johnson’s Hardware to open the next day. The perfect idea came to me: Buy a longer screw with one of those thumbscrew heads you can grab.

It worked, no more pliers needed if you twisted back and forth slightly as you pulled it up. It was unfortunate that the hot and cold positions weren’t obvious.

I don’t know how it came to me...probably in a dream...but I got up Thursday morning and went to the basement. I came back up with a C-clamp and attached that to the thumbscrew.

It was beautiful. A little larger than needed, but very workable. Grab the handle and lift. I think I even have hot and cold memorized now. It works so well that Colleen is probably worried that it won’t get replaced in a timely manner.

No, no, no, the faucet will be replaced. It was becoming very loose before the incident and we need a new one.

The way she talks, you’d think we have a problem around the house with getting stuff repaired.

“We muddle along with things,” she said last night, and then we began to make a mental inventory.

On the bottom shelf inside the refrigerator door, the guard that keeps food from sliding out busted on one end years ago. It’s been held in place with duct tape ever since.

The left vegetable bin in the refrigerator is catching and is very difficult to open. It might break some day soon when someone frustrated by hunger gets rough with it.

The garden hose has been progressively leaking near the nozzle. Colleen got tired of getting soaked by the errant spray and she turned to duct tape.

The main control wheel of the washing machine broke off a couple years back. Three or four years back? Six or seven? I don’t know, but it takes pliers to grasp the center piece and turn it to the right position. Certainly not a reason to buy a new washer. I suppose it’s possible that a person could still buy a control wheel for an old washer, but we never tried. We muddle along.

We cool the house with a window fan. There are metal plates on each end that are spread wide to fit the window. Over the years, the screws that hold the plates into place have fallen out and the fit isn’t really tight anymore.

“I swear a squirrel could walk right in,” Colleen said.

She said there isn’t much meat on a squirrel and I wasn’t about to doubt her. I recalled that infamous story she wrote for the Observer about some local residents who eat squirrel.

But I just checked out the gap and it isn’t something a squirrel is going to bother with. A bat maybe. I’ll fix it later when Colleen isn’t sleeping. Never awaken a sleeping wife with home repairs.

She pointed out that the upstairs toilet fills very slowly. True, but is that really a problem?

OK, so we do some muddling along. But if it ain’t broke—I mean really broke—then don’t fix it.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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