“I had no idea faucets came apart like that,” I told my husband, crouching next to him as he turned previously invisible (to me) screws, to expose broken washers. That was why the faucets by my raised garden beds were leaking profusely. I would need to buy 8 replacement faucets the next day, since the screws were also crumbling apart. I was given the follow-up assignment of making the change. I innocently and ignorantly accepted. He made it look fairly straightforward.
I had forgotten that I can’t even use a screwdriver without intense concentration combined with trial and error. As I squatted in the rock pathway, struggling with the crescent wrench, attempting to loosen the 4th old faucet, a dill plant kept finding its way up my nose, while a sunflower attacked me from above. I was sputtering in my mind: “and don’t give me any of that lefty-loosy righty-tighty stuff! I know that! I just can’t seem to apply it!” It seemed every faucet faced a different direction. Every time I took the crescent wrench off of the faucet I got confused again about which way I was turning it. To top it off, I couldn’t even remember which way to turn the knob on the crescent wrench. Then my sweet, unsuspecting friend walked out into the yard to see how I was doing…
Seeing I was exerting a great deal of effort, she cheerfully reminded me, “”Lefty-loosy, righty-tighty” In exasperation I yelled, “I KNOW!”
She cringed a little and I went on to explain in an agitated way what I had just been thinking. Since she is such a dear friend, she recognized my distress and gently asked if she could help me. Mumbling loudly something about Greg wanting me to learn how to do this, I agreed. She gave me a couple of reference points, as did my photojournalist daughter who had also just come out. Then, with those two cheering me on, I finished removing the remaining faucets more quickly.
After a short break, I went back out to put on the new faucets. Its relatively easy to figure out which direction to screw something on. And, for reasons unclear to me, the crescent wrench stayed at the appropriate size. Other than one faucet ending up being the wrong size, I got them all in place, but refrained from turning on the water main until the Master Plumber could check my work.
A few minor adjustments proved to be sufficient and all is working again! But, don’t call me if you need help unscrewing anything.