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Broken Faucet, New House?

Spraying Broken Faucet

My husband and I have a good system. He loves to cook, and I love to clean up. Recently, I was taking our breakfast dishes to the kitchen sink to wash them and turned on the faucet. The lever that used to stop turning when you would turn it to cold or hot, was swiveling in a complete 360 with sprays of water shooting out, mostly hitting the front of my shirt. Exasperated and working quickly to stop the flow of water, I said loudly to my husband, "The faucet is broken!"

My husband was just about to leave for the day and didn't have the time to examine what was causing the problems. He turned off the water supply and told me NOT to use the sink until he could look at it later. I hesitated and replied with a short, "Ok." In my mind, I was thinking about how often I used the kitchen sink, and I wondered how I could make it through the day without being able to use it.

At first, the breakfast dishes weren't a big deal. I have two basins in my sink, and the dishes didn't take up much room at all. Around 11 a.m., I made a smoothie. After I poured out the last of the liquid into my glass, I put the jar under the faucet in the sink to rinse it out. I tried the lever and was quickly reminded of my broken faucet. This happened several times throughout the day, the sink becoming much fuller with dirty dishes. Pretty soon this inconvenience inspired me to grab my laptop.

I quickly googled "kitchen faucets" and scrolled through several options. I thought I would just buy a new faucet and replace the old one, since it has been almost 13 years since I had bought my house, and the remodel itch had started settling in. As I was looking at all the beautiful and expensive finishes and designs, I thought, "I might as well get a new sink for the new faucet." I began pinning tons of inspiration from various home improvement websites that showed amazingly beautiful kitchens, all sporting the latest in technology and decor trends. The new kitchen sink would look "ok" with my old countertop, but they would look so much better if I had a new stone countertop to put it in.

Several options of granite and quartz countertops were pinned into my "Kitchen Remodel" board on Pinterest, then I began thinking about the arrangement of my kitchen. It was never quite to my liking and didn't offer much counter space. A new arrangement I had already thought about would work much better, so if I was going to replace the countertop, I might as well reconfigure the kitchen to the orientation I wanted. This however would require expanding the wall from the dining room outward, adjusting the load-bearing wall and beam, and would only require a few new windows and one new door. This change also required tearing up the tile flooring which was outdated and not in my new color scheme. Soon I was pinning windows, doors, and hardwood floor samples to my now edited board on Pinterest called, "Kitchen-House Remodel".

After several options were pinned, I moved on to the rugs that would have to be changed to correspond with the new hardwood throughout. The furniture would need an update too, as well as the throw pillows, and wall decor. The curtain rods, light fixtures, door knobs, and cabinet pulls all would need to be updated as well to match the new finish on my new faucet. My fingers flew across the laptop, pinning and saving my dream house.

Around 7 p.m., I heard the garage door open, announcing the return of my husband. I was upstairs in my office, still making a few pins to the now expanded Pinterest boards, all named after the room the corresponded to. When I heard him step inside I yelled to him, "I'll be right down."

I made a quick bathroom trip and then grabbed my laptop so I could show him all the work I had done. As I came down the stairs, I could see him already in the kitchen fiddling with the faucet. The "broken" faucet was disassembled, and he was using a screwdriver to tighten a tiny screw I never knew existed inside the faucet.

A few minutes later, the faucet was reassembled, and the water supply was turned back on. When he flipped the lever up, I secretly was hoping it would fail, or explode, or light on fire-anything that would allow me to have the "Pinterest Board Home" I had worked so hard to get. A perfect stream of crystal clear water poured gently (and smugly) out into the sink basin. I watched the water twist into a little whirlpool, and like my home remodel dreams, go down the drain.

Smiling, he looked at me and said, "It's fixed!"

After he left the kitchen and I started doing the dishes, scrubbing hard at the really dried on food, I started thinking how this situation applies to life. First, a problem ignored and left to "deal with later" usually creates other problems down the road-ones that get harder to fix the longer you wait. Second, when faced with a problem, disassembling it piece by piece usually will reveal the "tiny screw" that (once adjusted) will fix it. And finally, when looking at a problem, sometimes we want to "remodel" our lives around it. Doing this is costly, can turn your world upside down, and will still leave you with a "broken" faucet.

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