Day 678- Something’s Always Wrong

It’s the weekend. I just want to relax a bit. Maybe I’ll actually take some time off of my “to do” list this Saturday and watch a movie during the day. it’s been a tough(er than usual) week.  Next week is the Derby Party, so Tywana and I are getting the house ready.  Maybe I’ll just clean the deck.  I decide to check out the power washer we inherited from my father-in-law. It’s been sitting in the garage.  If it still works, I’ll power wash the deck. I get it out and look it over to see if I can figure out how it works. The first thing I notice is it’s missing the tank. I’ll deal with that another time.  On to Plan B. I’ve got deck cleaner and brush. I’ll do it the old fashioned way.  It’ll take longer than I had planned spending, but it’s a nice day.  Why not?  I load up the sprayer, start spraying cleaner onto the deck and scrubbing with my brush.  I’ve got a pretty good patch done.  Time to rinse and see how it’s working.  I go down and turn on the hose to begin rinsing and water pours out all around the hose bibb. It’s busted. Again.  I don’t have time for this. I go to the basement to see if water is pouring inside the house.  Nope.  I have to get the deck rinsed off. So, I turn the water back on just long enough to get that spot rinsed.  OK.  I’ll deal with this next week. I need to call a plumber to get this fixed.

So, instead of cleaning the deck, I work on unplugging the drain holes.  This is exhausting, hands and knees work.  Just then, Tywana comes around the corner with “I hate to put something else on your list, but the mailbox just broke.”  “What?  How does the mailbox break?”  This is how. The post that has been sitting in the ground for 20 years gave up the ghost.  It’s all rotted (I had no idea) right at ground level. When she went to check the mail, she noticed it wobbling and pushed right over when she tested it.

We already had a handyman coming this week to repair siding that blew off a week or so ago.  He’s also going to change lightbulbs in the chandelier in the foyer that I can’t reach.  Maybe he can fix the hose bibb.

So, on Sunday, I head out to the hardware store in search of a mailbox. As hard as it is to believe, in my 55 years I’ve never installed a mailbox.  Where we live you can’t dig two inches without running into rocks. I’m picturing myself with a post hole digger out there for hours.  Mixing concrete, setting a post, these are not things I’ve done or want to do.  So, I’m off to Lowe’s hoping that technology has found a solution to my problem.  At Lowe’s I look for “self setting mailboxes”, as if there is such a thing.  They all require setting a 4″x4″ post.  The standard installation seems to be a post set two feet into the ground. Do I rent a post hole digger?  Buy one?  Do I need to learn to mix concrete? Do I want to put a concrete chunk into the ground? What if I need to replace it again?  I find a device that drives into the ground with sledge hammer.  OK. Now we’re talking.  Now I just need a 2′ piece of 4″x4″ instead of the 6′ one they sell. No problem. Lowe’s cuts wood to size for you, while you wait. But, the cutters are busy. So, we wait.  Then, the guy who works in the lumber department remembers. “Sorry.  Did you say 4″x4″?”  “Yes.  Why?”  Oh, he says, “I just remembered, we don’t have the equipment to cut 4x4s.  We can only cut up to 3″?  “Uh. What?  You’re Lowe’s.  You sell the equipment.”  He replies “You can probably rent a circular saw at a tool rental place.”.  “No.” I think. “I really wanted to just find the easiest possible way to get a mailbox, any mailbox, into the ground.  You’re now telling me I need to rent a circular saw (and learn how to use that.”  Then, I remember I have a reciprocating saw that I bought a couple of years ago to hack down brush. Maybe that’ll work. So, I’m back in business. I grab the mailbox, the 6′ 4″x4″, the sledge hammer and the 3″ metal contraption that I have to drive into the ground.  As I head for the car, I remember.  We brought my car. I knew I could fit a mailbox in the car, but I had no plans to buy a 6′ piece of lumber. So, Tywana and I stand there for 15 minutes figuring out how to lay down my back seats (which have never been laid down in there years).  They’re down.  Lumber and mailbox are in. Sledge hammer has been procured.  Here we go….

I cut off a short piece of lumber to use to drive the spike into the ground, per the instructions.  I get it into the ground, flush with the ground, 30″ spike holding it in place.  Now to cut the 2′ piece the instructions say I should have sticking out of the ground. I cut it, assemble the mailbox and I’m ready to drop it down over the post the I realize it won’t go over the device I bought to hold the post. So, the device needs to drop down 6″ below ground level. And, I have to recut another section- this time 2′6″ long.  It’s a good thing Lowe’s didn’t cut the lumber.  It wouldn’t have been long enough.  I make the second cut, start again and finally get this stupid thing installed.

Hours of work and I’m back where I started before the mailbox broke.  The hose bibb still needs to be replaced, then I can clean the deck. And, then I’ll just wait for the next thing to break.

As I was lying there in bed Sunday morning thinking about the things I had to do, marketing for the business, fixing the mailbox, getting the hose bibb replaced, dealing with Zoe’s infected foot (again). I was reminded once again, we live in a universe ruled by the second law of thermodynamics which states that that the total entropy (disorder) of an isolated system can only increase over time. In other words, things always break.  No matter how we struggle to keep them the way we want them, it’s fighting a losing battle in the physical universe.  I realized that the best way to deal with this fact is to finally accept it. When something breaks, don’t be upset. Why should I be upset?  Why should I be surprised? This is the way it’s supposed to be. This is the way it always will be. If life is ever “perfect”, it’s only a temporary state. Something will go wrong.  I might as well learn to go with the flow.

It’s Monday now. The mailbox is up.  Hopefully, it stays up. I’m no handyman. I think I did a good enough job.  We’ll see.  The handyman is coming Wednesday.  We’ll get the siding back in order then.  We’ll get lights back into the chandelier. Today, I need to tackle more tasks on my list to get the business back on track.  It’s always something.  As Toad the Wet Sprocket said Something’s Always Wrong.  When will I learn to accept that?

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