The plumber’s daughter

Most folks do not look forward to a discussion about septic tanks, I’m told.

I do, though.

We had a local construction guy, Chris, out to the cabin today, to look over our septic and water supply situation, and I anticipated it with a kind of glee.

Toilets, gas lines, water lines, furnaces, AC, gray water, black water, it’s all good. I love learning about plumbing, construction and everything related to it. Every time we have a repair guy to the house, I’m right there in the utility room watching him and asking questions.

It’s like being a kid again with Dad on the job. I used to tag along with him on the weekend sometimes and he’d take me to a construction site, show me the skeleton of a building where he was putting in all the veins – the pipes and ducts.

He explained how one part worked with the others, showed me the different materials they used, talked about how they’d figured things out because every construction site was a different set of problems. It was like a gigantic puzzle.

A career as a plumber wasn’t really an option for me as a girl in the ’60s, and besides, I was expected to go to college. Becoming a journalist was a pretty good choice, as it turned out, because I never outgrew my love of poking around, tinkering, and solving problems. Just like Dad.

And so I looked forward to meeting Chris. A good construction guy is a busy guy, but I’d finally worked out a time for Chris to come out to the cabin while Tom and I were there.

I liked Chris on the phone, but even more when he stepped out of his truck.

He is a North Georgia classic: a football player of a guy with a beefy handshake, the kind of easy smile that always gets a smile in return, and an accent like honey over cornbread.

He listened closely while we walked him around, took in everything. You could watch his brain working through the problem with every step across our tangled land and water.

We kicked around the ideas – compost toilet, building a new septic system, making a settling tank to get the sediment out of the gravity-fed water supply. Chris liked talking about it, responded with common sense to our layman’s solutions, and didn’t try to puff up his expertise as a defense to the barrage of questions.

Just like Dad.

I could have gabbed with him all afternoon, but I knew he had someplace else to be, so reluctantly we let him go on with his day.

Besides, I had to get to work on fixing the refrigerator.

Day 103’s penny is a 2014, the year that the cabin’s water sedimentation started giving us problems.

Day 102 2014