"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

In hot water doing home repairs

By on June 25, 2019 in Columnist with 0 Comments
Mike Cassidy

By Mike Cassidy


We stopped at Julia and Greg Scott’s home on a warm evening to catch a quick photo of the couple for our house of the month feature, starting on page 20.

And then we got talking as Greg and Julia showed us around … “every surface you see, every single surface, we touched in one way or another,” said Julia.

Julia showed us where she and her daughter wallpapered a ceiling (which was a daunting, never again task, admitted Julia, but it came out beautiful) and Greg talked about how he added pieces to an old kitchen cabinet found in the barn so meticulous that even our probing eyes couldn’t find the joint line.

We laughingly agreed with the couple during our visit that with the right tools and YouTube for how-to videos, a person can accomplish wonders.

I wish we would have had YouTube when my wife and I embarked on house renovations.

Our “career” in home projects started with a leak in the base of the washing machine faucet.

One night, sitting on the floor of our sparsely furnished rambler suburban house, enjoying an adult beverage and listening to a vinyl album on the stereo (perhaps I’m dating myself here), I went to stand up by shoving off against the living room wall … and my hand went through the wall.


It seemed a leak from the hot water faucet rotted a few studs in the wall, and, as we found out later, down into the floor joists.

An experienced do-it-yourself buddy came over, and using his tools, we pulled up the carpet, ripped into the wall and cut out the rot. 

We replaced everything, and I thought: “I am so good at this home repair stuff!”

Next up a few days later was to replace the leaky washing machine faucet. 

Unfortunately, I was not able to locate the water turnoff valve, which I mistakenly thought was somewhere in the street. 

“I’m fast,” I thought, “and now I know I’m good at home repairs. I can unscrew the faucet, quickly screw on the new faucet and mop up water that comes out.”

Laying on the washing machine — it was wedged into its space too tightly to pull out completely of the way — I unscrewed the faucet and whoosh, a spray of  warm water hit me in the face, shocking me into dropping the replacement faucet I was holding in my other hand to the floor.

I stuck a thumb into the pipe, maneuvered my feet to the floor, where I grasped the faucet with my toes and brought it up to my free hand. (It’s good to be agile when doing home repairs.)

I pulled my thumb out of the pipe, but in trying to screw on the new faucet with water gushing out, it slipped out of my hand to the floor again. Back in went my thumb. And there I was stuck, my wife at work, hot water burning my thumb, and my confidence ebbing. 

Well, I eventually persevered, and I learned something about thinking through a problem before picking up a tool.

Maybe all YouTube videos should start with that advice.

You can be a DIY’er when it comes to enjoying The Good Life.

— Mike

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