Inventions for the home… and happy place

One of my favourite movies is “Home of Our Own,” which is set in the 1960s and tells the story of a single mother and her batch of kids building a house together.
One of the best scenes is when everyone is standing around the new indoor toilet, watching as it flushes for the very first time. No more trips to the outhouse.
Clapping hands and then a scramble ensue as the successful first flush sends the family tripping over each other to “use” the toilet first.
That sort of sets the scene for one of the highlights of our lives when Pete was home for seven days earlier this month and the Mickey Mouse plumbing of the old farmhouse received its last rites.
Not only did Mr. Fantastic re-plumb the house into a modern operation, he installed the first three-prong electrical plug seen this side of 1967. A brand new water heater, a working washer and dryer. . . .
What did I tell you about the order of things after the man is in his happy place? But then again, as I, too, was revitalized and returned to my happy place on multiple occasions by Mr. Fantastic, I found my resolve on spending money—normally a “talk to the hand” non-discussion on my part—softened to a pliable medium.
I know this because Pete had been hounding me for weeks on end about splurging on a new kitchen sink and faucets to replace the nearly 40-year-old variety in the farmhouse (and given that Mr. Fantastic doesn’t do dishes, the request made for an even more ridiculous he-choice).
However, with my buck and boss shields in relax-mode, I conceded the key to the family fortune. Besides let’s face it, it’s a kitchen sink, not a motorcycle he’s begging for here.
How could I stand in the way of such rationale?
Of course, once I gave the nod to home improvement spending, I then had to deploy a woman’s prerogative and make sure my two cents worth went into the choosing of said item.
Frankly, we were like two kids in a candy store, eyes popping out at shiny, new sinks, and tugging on each other’s shirt as we pointed at faucets with spray nozzles.
We’d decided some time ago to groom the farmhouse look, and were thrilled when a retro cast-iron kitchen sink bathed in white enamel and the perfect set of faucets to match jumped out at us.
Of course, the initial ambiance of the moment briefly disappeared for Pete when he squeezed his pinkie finger under the two-ton dishpan when setting it in the shopping cart, but whispers from the wife of happy places made it all better.
But Pete took a step back into a frown when I came out of the Canada Customs office after paying duty on our new purchase and, with a poker-straight face, told him we had to take the sink back to the U.S. because it wasn’t fumigated.
The horrified look on his face, as his mind flashed back to our international incident earlier this summer caused by an old piece of sponge from a cot, was so worth my joke. Once he clued in, we both laughed like hyenas.
So further into that day, after I insisted on the employment of know-it-all resources called “instructions” (a little-known entity in a man’s world), we installed one of the best ideas Pete’s had.
And although readers will think I don’t get out much (and I don’t), there’s nothing better than looking down the drain of a new kitchen sink into brand new plumbing that connects as far as the eye can peer.
The excitement was heightened even more when the sealant I had used to snug the new kitchen faucets and the sink drain did its job when I turned on the water.
I thought I knew a lot about a lot of things, but until that day as the plumber’s wife, I was clueless to such a great invention as plumber’s putty.
Boy, have I got some new uses in mind for that stuff.
However, I concede that the very best invention discovered during the seven days Pete was home was the two big blocks of wood that quieted the squeaks of a metal bed frame maxed out by a pair of bungling passion wizards after seven weeks apart.
Life is good.

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