Another Day in Paradise

"The kids screaming, phone ringing
Dog barking at the mailman bringing
That stack of bills - overdue
Good morning baby, how are you?
Got a half hour, quick shower
Take a drink of milk but the milk's gone sour
My funny face makes you laugh
Twist the top on and I put it back
There goes the washing machine
Baby, don't kick it.
I promise I'll fix it
Long about a million other things"

-from Another Day in Paradise, Phil Vassar


To tell the truth, I had no idea who Phil Vassar was until about, oh, two minutes ago. But, this country song had just the lyrics I was looking for in order to write today's post.

The day started great...oh wait, no, it didn't. I awoke with a terrible head cold; which urged me to apologize to the girls who have been suffering with it for days now and have been met with an unsympathetic mom. At any rate, I felt plain awful. It was the kind of cold that makes you want to curl up under some blankets on the couch, sipping hot tea and watching old TBS reruns, blocking out the world and everything in it.

My day didn't quite go like that however. You see, Aidan had to be out the door by 8, Liam had occupational therapy for his eating skills at 9:30 and Madeline had to be at school by 12:45. There was a play-date I backed out of in between all that and several errands that had to be accomplished after preschool drop-off and before the piano lesson I teach on Wednesdays. Needless-to-say, I wasn't curled up on the couch.

So, it was a great day for me to notice that the sink was backing up while the dishwasher was running. Not thinking much of it, I turned the disposal on and off to get the stuff to go back down but as I flipped the switch, I also heard a rather ominous sound....I couldn't quite put a finger on it though and everything seemed ok so I went back to talk to the Occupational Therapist whom Liam was taking to the door (he makes it a point to let his teachers know when he is done and that they should go by taking them by the hand and showing them to the front door...) I then put Liam down for an early nap thinking I might actually get to go lay down for a little while before having to get the girls fed and out the door. But, as luck may have it, I saw the dirty breakfast dishes in the sink and decided I would quickly get them done before heading to the couch.

As I got closer to the sink, dripping water caught my eyes. Not dripping in the sink mind you, but all over the floor. I opened the cabinet doors to examine and found that the entire garbage disposal had fallen off of the sink! (Really? You fell off the sink? COME ON ALREADY! Give me a break!) And apparently, it happened mid-disposing as there were soggy Rice Krispies and chunks of mushy fruit and other such delectables all over EVERYTHING underneath my sink.

What did I do, you ask. Well, I called Kurt of course. The conversation went something like this (squish your nose firmly between two fingers to say my part):

"Um, Kurt? (pause to blow my nose) The garbage disposal fell off of the sink," I told him. (I can hardly even write that sentence without cracking up.)

"Really? Hmmm, I wonder how that happened. I'm really busy though, can you call my dad and get him to help you?"

"Uh, (BLOOOOOW) ok...."

NOT! You see, Kurt's dad lives in Pennsylvania. To be certain, there is a slight disadvantage to having your personal handyman live a thousand miles away. And I am certainly not going to bother someone with something they can do NOTHING about and moral support was simply not what I needed. What now....Well, if you have ever installed a garbage disposal, then you know just how heavy these things are. It's not like they are so heavy you can't lift them but they are heavy enough that to hold one with one hand while trying to align and then screw the hardware on with another teeters on the edge of impossible. It took both me and Kurt squeezing under the kitchen sink, him holding the thing and me getting it aligned and attached for us to get it installed in the first place. Which leads me to the heart of the problem: WE INSTALLED IT OURSELVES!

What to do....hmmmm.....A this point, the disposal was resting on three glass vases and an empty peanut butter jar that happened to be directly under it when it fell (hence the interesting sound I couldn't quite put my finger on.) I needed something or someone to help me with the holding of it while I got the thing screwed back on.

"Madeline, come here!" I called out.

"What is it mom?" she said, coming down the stairs. The image of me trying to explain to the ER doc how my 5 year old ended up with head trauma by way of a garbage disposal flashed through my head and quickly gave me second thoughts.

"Nevermind!" I called back. And then it hit me; I knew what I needed (dunt-dunt-dunt-duuuuu): The Car Jack! It can hold up a 282 horsepower truck for gosh sake, it can surely hold up a 1/4 horsepower disposal!

So, I had never used a car jack before. (My basic philosophy is, if I need a jack for my car, I also need roadside service.) But, I recalled our U-Haul "incident" and fortunately knew exactly where to find it. After pulling it out and realizing it comes with far too many unnecessary accessories, I began to mess around with it to make sure I knew what I was doing. I then blew my nose several times and moaned a little for dramatic effect, and carefully slid the jack under the disposal, taking all the rest of the junk out from under it.

And just like that I was able to hang the garbage disposal back under the sink, all by my sick self.

And ya know, it put a little skip back in my step. Sure I felt like crap and sounded like I belong on the Muppet Show, but I hung a garbage disposal all by myself! Sure, Madeline forgot her coat when I was taking her to school and I had to make Lily give up hers, only to find Lily in SHORT SLEEVES and so I had to turn around to go home for more clothes before running my errands and then, half way there realized I forgot the movie I was supposed to be returning AND the mail I was supposed to be mailing (hence the errands!) and had to return home AGAIN, but hey, I hung the garbage disposal all by myself!

And while I'll admit I wasn't cheering "I fixed the garbage disposal, hurray!" when Aidan came to wake me at 11:30 tonight, and again at 1:30 and 4 a.m. because Liam was screaming, coughing and feverish, there is something to be said for resourcefulness. It is amazing just how far it can take a person and I hope to pass it along to my children.

It sure beats the stuff they usually pass along to me!


"Well, it's ok. It's so nice
It's just another day in paradise
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise."

(Thanks for the reminder, Phil!)

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