I have again reaped the benefits of being a middle school teacher for a couple of decades. The mental calluses I have inadvertently accumulated from the daily association with middle school kids have caused me to become partially immune to the normal stresses of life. My assumption is a result of surviving, mentally unscathed, recent circumstances which would have most likely caused a normal person to become inflamed with stress and spout from his mouth words not becoming of a proper person.
The chain reaction of the circumstances that provided me the inspiration for this article began behind my house. A couple of pipe lines carrying water, run behind my house, and every couple of years one of them begins to bubble up its contents upon the ground. Being as the leaks normally occur within my tree line, I don’t become overly anxious in attempting to figure out who to contact to repair the leak because I know that a tree or two will possibly meet their demise as a result of the repair work.
The most recent leak provided my kids and their friends a source of entertainment when they visited us during the Christmas holidays. In one day they had dug cannels, a small pond, and engaged in several mud fights. The scenario was considerably entertaining, but I decided that when they returned to their respective cities, I would contact the owners of the pipeline and hopefully, they would repair the leak before I developed a swamp.
After asking several folks, I finally located the owners of the pipeline and they promptly came out to repair the leak. I happened to be at home, calling a person to repair the motor on my heating system, when a man appeared with a backhoe. After he worked for a short while, I decided to check on his progress. About the time that I walked out, he shut down his backhoe and jumped out of the cab. He asked me, “What was that line that I just dug up?” I replied, “Possibly my gas line.” He responded, “No it has water running out of it.” I then stated that it must be my water line.
We managed to get the water shut off, and he resumed his digging. I returned to the house to battle my computer which was recovering from a virus. After a bit, I returned to check on backhoe progress. Again, the man jumped out of the cab and asked, “What was that line I just dug up…..it smells like gas.” I replied that it must be my gas line. We then shut off the gas line.
I returned to the house and began building a fire in my wood-burning stove in anticipation of a long cold night. When I returned to check on his progress again, I asked him about the possibilities of repairing the lines that evening. He replied that he had help on the way. Sure enough, he and his partner managed to repair both lines that evening. I got the water heater fired up again, flushed out the water lines and didn't think much more about it.
The next morning when I turned on the shower, there was no hot water. I decided that there must have been a pocket of air in the gas line and lit the water heater again and returned to shave with cold water.
At school, fortunately during my conference period, I suddenly noticed that my zipper was down. When I attempted to zip it back up, I discovered that the zipper was broken. I managed to repair it with two safety pins. Later, when I was in the restroom, I was fiddling around with the zipper in an attempt to relieve myself. In walked the principal. I could imagine what he was thinking and felt compelled to explain the situation. We had a good laugh about it and took care of our business.
Finally, I returned home where I was planning on checking my computer to make sure that I had totally eradicated the virus. It was then that I discovered that my monitor had quit working. I gave up and went to call Rufus. He wasn't home. He had to work overtime. Sometimes, "stuff" just happens…… all in the same day, but that's normal for a middle school teacher.