Life in the single lane can mean a trip down the purple brick road.
The road winds its way over a small island to my home where self-sufficiency is not only an asset, it’s essential.
Purple is the result of pink and blue. Pink jobs are ones I don’t mind doing. Blue jobs are ones that make me reconsider the benefits of partnering with a male.
My partnered friends remind me how pink and blue lines frequently crossfire into streaks of static-ridden purple. Patience can be hot pink when looking for the on-switch in their partner.
God gives us brains to create these wondrous inventions, but forgot to give me the ability to deal with stress gracefully when they don’t work.
After much wasted time, this last Friday, I conceded that two blue jobs needed a man’s touch. I couldn’t attach the power head to my vacuum and my kitchen water pressure was defunct. I called my friend Stan, a fix-it fanatic. I sped over to his shop with my vacuum cleaner.
“Damned cleaning lady didn’t tell me she broke the power head on my vacuum. I see she tried to glue it or something, but something’s missing.” That was the extent of my ability to help Stan.
“When did this happen?”
“Years ago. Probably when the damned thing was still under warranty.”
“Don’t you vacuum? How come you just noticed this now?”
“Stan! You’re reminding me why I’m single.”
Stan tried a part off an old vacuum that he had stashed in his little-shop-of-many-things. Of course they weren’t compatible. However, we discovered the part that was missing.
“You have to find a vacuum repair shop somewhere off island. Even then, who knows if that part is sold separately.”
Stan doesn’t like defeat. He foolishly asked, “What’s wrong with your kitchen tap?”
“It’s lost pressure. I took off the screening to see if there was a buildup of crud. There was none so I’m stymied.”
“I’ll come by this afternoon and look at it,” he said.
Stan arrived dangerously close to his nap time. His demeanor warned me. The muttering that accompanied slices being taken off plastic tubing did not sound compatible with success. My faucet stumped him.
He sat on the floor in front of my sink holding the disassembled tap. “I don’t know, kiddo. I think I just added to your problem. It’s way past my nap time. I’m afraid you’ll have to buy a new faucet and gawd knows how you are going to get in that space to connect it.”
Stan walked to his truck mumbling his apology. “Hey Stan!” I tried to be cheery. “At least I know what has to be done now.”
I donned my purple plumber’s vest and reassembled half of the parts of the tap. Somehow, I bypassed the obstruction. At least the remaining tubing, connected to the faucet by a rubber band, provides water for the kitchen sinks. The pressure is amazing. It provides a shower, a wall washing, a floor cleaning and a new hair do with the tiniest engagement of the uni-lever on the faucet.
After the clean-up, I spent an hour on the Internet looking for vacuum and faucet parts.
On Saturday, during a planned walk with two women friends, H. and K., I anticipated having the opportunity to bemoan my plight. I learned that H., besides managing a major deck problem, is hauling a sizable load of soil from the front of her house around the back to her garden – probably in a purple wheel barrow. My imagination endowed her with purple gardening gloves as she meditatively merged compost with the fresh, fragrant humus.
K. would be my second hope for some commiseration. She showed up at the trail head with wet hair, “I just got out of the shower. I’ve been insulating the crawl space all morning.” I heard the padlock close on my mouth.
No woman is supposed to do that horrible job. Why is insulation pink? Who made that decision? “Yeah, George, let’s dye it pink. It’s worth a try! We gotta get these women doin’ it somehow!” No, George, I need my women friends to insulate me, not some ugly crawl space.
To put a further clamp on my mouth, K. said, “I’m going to stain the outside of my house on Sunday.”
Hopefully the staining went well. I had a guiltless, Sunday lunch with J. We discussed a business strategy that involves major changes to her life. In order to make these changes, she used her purple planner and rearranged the lives of at least four men. There may be more because this is one woman who commandeered a force to eradicate tent caterpillars from her apple trees with herself leading the attack.
After Sunday’s lunch when I returned home, a motorcycle pulled into my yard. “Anybody home?” N. was pulling off her helmet and leathers with an invitation for a walk.
“Doctor told me that walking is not an option, it’s a prescription.” I quickly grabbed my walking shoes the moment I heard the sadness in her voice. We took solace in Nature as she revealed her challenges.
Back home after the walk, we settled into comfy chairs in my yard and devoured ripe mangos with gusto and major messiness. We blue skied a list of trips that N. could take to put the pee back into her passion. Oops…”p”.
The afternoon was waning and another purple job demanded my attention. The lawn needed mowing. N. helped carry the dirty dishes into the house. “What’s this?” she asked pointing at the vacuum sprawled in the breakfast nook with the broken half of the faucet beside it.
Ah, the relief of reciting my tale of woe. “Oh, don’t do all that shit!” she said, spoken like a true purple biker-chick.
In one minute she told me exactly where to take the vacuum, where to get the parts for my faucet and who could advise on assembling those stubborn pieces of plumbing – all available here on our home island.
A pink and blue bruise instantly transformed into a majestic amethyst crown.
On second thought, before I get too caught up in claiming the crown of holy purpleness, I’ll wait until I can turn on the tap without pressure washing the gold trim off the Rosenthal.
Photo from: http://www.familyhandyman.com