“Honey, I fixed the sink, and the tub, and the drain!”: The Joys of Homeownership!


The Hubby and I were lucky enough to buy our first house in the spring of 2013.  It is no great estate or large tract of land by any means.  It is a nice little Cape Cod style home in the 1500 sq ft range built in the early 1950s, 1950 to be exact.  This was a huge mile stone in both of our lives, not just together but personally.  Growing up renters, the Hubby’s family had never owned their own place.   As for me, this was the first actual home that I had some stake in its ownership.  I had owned some land with an old trailer that I had lived in for a few months with my daughter and her mom when had been married but that was the closest I had made it.

It was exciting and a bit daunting to know that this place was all ours.  The good, the bad and all points in-between.  My family had owed a few places growing up so I was a bit more familiar to some of the “fun home owner” stuff that may pop up. I had always either watched or helped my parents and/or grandfathers do their own home  repairs when I was young.  This gave me a predisposition and exposer to the skills that I would use now.  Seeing these things getting done also instilled the idea of, “why pay for someone to do something when you can do it yourself at a fraction of the cost…if not FREE!?”   So yep, I was ready for anything that this old shack can throw at me.  Well, I thought I was. 

Within the first year, not much happened.  Whenever something would pop up the Hubby would ask if I wanted him to call someone.  No need! Clogged sink? Have plunger will travel!  Slosh, slosh, slosh a plop.  Fixed!  Wind storm decide to remove some of the shingles on the roof? I got this and who cares that it is only 25 degrees outside.  To the roof I go, shingles and hammer in hand.  DONE!  All hail the conquering hero!   When things got a little more than a simple plunging was needed, off to the big box home repair store I would go for a new tool.  I don’t care who you are, new tools are always cool.  Does not matter if you are Gay, Straight, Bi or Tie…NEW TOOLS ARE ALWAYS COOL!  With new tool in hand, I would go to work.  A bit of time and a few uttered curse words later and whatever was broken is no longer and again…Bear for the WIN! 

Now even the most winning team can win every time. There are times when the even the most stubborn person (I guess that would be me…I guess…maybe) needs to admit that they are not able to fix.  I know when it is time to call in back up.  This is when the tools I need to fix the issue is either when the cost of the tool I need is WELL more than having a person come out or if this is not likely to happen again.  If I am being honest, this is more of a VERY ROUGH guideline then a hard rule.

Flash forward to now.  We noticed that the drain in the bath had been getting slower and slower in the last few weeks.  OK, not big issue, a little liquid drain cleaner and the issue should be dealt with.  Well, not so much.  Well, NOT AT ALL!  What was once was a slow drain is not a STOPPED drain!  Well Shit!  I grab the plunger and try to clear the now non-moving water.  Nothing! At! All!  If you look at your tub and you will see that there is an overflow on almost all tubs.  I had the Boy grab the second plunger from the downstairs bathroom so I can seal the overflow and get better suction.  This worked…sort of…  but not really. 

Being the great father I am, and wanting to utilized the available free labor on hand, I had the boy give me a hand.  This way he could learn about this stuff the same way I did.  He held the seal on the overflow as I plunged.  Still nothing.  I got my 15-foot drain snake and started to go to town on the piping.  Nope.  I grab the shop-vac (when finesse fails, resort to brute force!).  Still nope.  More liquid drain cleaner.  Yet, still no.  It is at this point that the Boy’s education switched from vocational to more linguistic.  He giggles.  We called it a night.  Drain 1, Bear (and Boy) 0.  Folks, it was not looking good for the home team!

The next morning started with a trip to the big box home store.  NEW TOOL TIME!  Now I was ready for round two.  Fast forward several hours.  Coved in dirty tub water, frustrated and about ready to just say that this will be a tub free house, if you want to shower use the F##$@!g hose in the back yard, I gave it one last attempt.  I snaked the drain and then it happens.  The tub drained like the pipes were new.   VICTORY!!! Then a thought crossed my mind. “Is the drain really clear or did the pipe just break?  This is an old house after all.”  I all but sprinted to the basement.  Office, dry! Basement Bath, dry! Bedroom, Dry!  Laundry room, Dry!  I breathed a bit easier. 

In the end, everything was fixed.  The tub drain worked, the Boy learned a few new things like simple plumbing (and a few new words), and I got some new tools.  BEAR FOR THE WIN!  Homeownership can be a great thing but frustrating as well.  When all is said, and done, I have to say we kind of like it.  That is until the next thing breaks at least.


Bear on the Road

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