Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Humanity takes priority

Last Friday I traveled to Palm Springs to escape Los Angeles for the weekend. After investing about 3.5 hours to travel 90 miles I was ready to relax and let my crisis of a two week span dissipate with the companionship of a good friend, a couple of cocktails and some lounging around the pool. However, my friend who is always the wind beneath my tired and out-of-shape wings, taught me better than that. During conversation over dinner we discussed the plumbing problems at my parents’ house in Phoenix, AZ. He quickly made mention that if I wanted to travel there he would gladly help find a solution to the broken pipe, which prevented my father from having running water in the 100-plus degree weather. Shamefully remembering that my friend had fixed my parents’ pool pump, not once but twice over the past 12 months, I begged off stating that he was not responsible for fixing my parents’ house.

Now, being a single gal without a husband or a boyfriend that would happily oblige to perform such duties in order to shut my co-dependant guilty complaining down, I have always been the type to do whatever I can to solve the problem. In this case, the option was to remotely hire a plumber with the very little money I had. But no, my best friend not only had the experience and knowledge to figure out the problem, but he had the energy and quite frankly an overall altruistic eagerness that I could not turn down. So by Noon on Saturday we were on the road and after a nice four-hour drive with time to share the love of awesome music and catch up a bit we were at my parents’ house; and he did not spare one moment jumping right in on the project.

By 7 p.m. after lightly grounding the house’s electricity, we had a plan and a Home Depot shopping list, and we were off. Arriving back with a 10 foot galvanized pipe, which oddly fit in my car, we found the home without electric; a problem that my renaissance friend was able to figure a short-term solution to. We were then able to work in the front yard to make water run via a retrofitted with an extra female connection RV hose, galvanized pipe, a t-joint and two valves, all directly linked to the water main. By 11 p.m. we had running water, and a shady grounding issue we couldn’t figure out. Once again, my wise friend figured out a way to circumvent the pending house fire for the evening by using two extension cords, a coat hanger and a full head of knowledge (if you are thinking this is a MacGyver episode you are right, and he is).

Waking the next day it was back to work, and a new Home Depot shopping list. One problem after another occurred; a coupler that wouldn’t un-couple, a three-inch nipple fitting that was so corroded it would not stop leaking; in addition, the house needed to be grounded safely. Despite the fact that four days ago I would have not understood any of what I just wrote, I am proud. Not of me, but of my friend and my father. The two of them taught me. And when I am a homeowner I will be able to look at problems like these and be more informed, perhaps knowledgeable to someday fix issues like these myself. The plumbing problem solution of the weekend, while a temporary fix at present, provides running water to my parents’ home. And I could not ask for more.

The altruistic mentality and the humanity in others is what keeps me alive. If it were not for friends to help me lick my wounds and move on from a failed relationship, if it were not for co-workers who understood my plight and have supported me with comforting words, if it were not for my family who loves each another unconditionally and if it were not for the assistance my friends who have extended their companionship and love to me, then I don’t know what I would do. It is these individuals that keep me honest, keep me moving, make me take a lunch once in a while and take care of my parents with wisdom that I don’t have.

For all of these critical people in my life, I say thank you. And for this past weekend, I say thank you to my friend Benjamin. You, Sir, are an inspiration. Thank you for all I have said here and so much more. You have taught me a great deal and have helped me improve my life in so many ways. There are no “thanks” in the human vernacular that can truly express my appreciation.