It is interesting that we normally do not have much traffic on our street, but on this particular day, I think everyone in town drove by. The first ones I am sure were incidental, but then I think word spread that I was dumpster diving in the neighbors trash bin, and everyone else drove by to get a look. Anyway, Mrs. PJM starts getting calls at work asking if everything is OK at our house, and that if we ever need food, all she has to do is call.
So, I finally find the bag with the discarded filters, and I retrieve them. That was a relief, because that pile of trash really wreaked. I mean, they don't come around very often to empty it, and in hot weather things turn ugly pretty fast is a trash bin. So, I get my parts, and go home. With the parts, I was able to put the system back together. I turn the water back on, and water starts squirting out of every one of those little connections that I had taken off and put back on. I tried tightening the connections, but the water continued to flow. I then cut the valve off again, and retreated to the study. I did a little research on google and found out there is this stuff called "Teflon tape", and that you are supposed to use that on plastic threads before you connect the fitting to it. Since the plumber's shop was closed, I sent daughter to Mr. Butler's little grocery store in the hopes they would have some. In about 5 minutes she returned, Teflon tape in hand. So, I take the system apart, put it back together, this time using the tape on all the threads. I turn the valve on . . . no leaks . . . success at last. We do the best we can to get things cleaned up before Mrs. PJM gets home but she still returns to a big mess.
Now, Mrs. PJM was not very happy, and starts explaining that perhaps if I had called the plumber much of this could have been avoided. She suggested that perhaps I should not have used her new bead spread to help soak of the water in the heat of the crisis. Also, she complains that the water tastes funny, and has an odor. Now, just between you and me, I do detect a little whang reminiscent of the neighbors trash bin, but I feel it is best if we do not share with Mrs. PJM the part about the filters ending up in the neighbors trash bin. Then, there is still the matter of the non-functioning sink in the utility room. She is insisting we call the plumber, but I remain convinced that I can do the job. Well, the bottom line is that Mrs. PJM feels that I am not ready for a tractor. She is concerned that I would injure myself. I tell her that in high school I drove tractors professionally, working for local farmers. I tell her that tractor work is very different than plumbing, and that it was really the plumber's confusing installation job on the system that had caused the whole mess. She is unconvinced, and I feel I probably do not have time to redeem myself for this particular birthday. But there is always next year.