Yesterday was the first day of the rest of my life. Several folks asked on Wednesday what my agenda looked like for Thursday.   What I discovered is that being newly retired is a lot like having a birthday. There really wasn’t an appreciable difference. Apart from sleeping in a little later, there were things on my unwritten “to do list” that had to be addressed. Consequently, it wasn’t a day totally filled with leisure.  I am not quite to the “Life of Riley” phase.


A friend from Round Rock was working in Dripping Springs yesterday. Learning earlier in the week that he was going to be in the area, we planned to meet for lunch. He mentioned that the last time he was in Dripping Springs his venue for lunch proved something other than enjoyable. For starters, he said the meal wasn’t nearly as good as he anticipated it would be and the service was sadly lacking.


The most troubling thing about the lunch was what he observed as he was leaving the restaurant. There was a young man slumped over face down on a table. An ambulance was parked in the portico just outside the front door. One of the ambulance attendants rushed back to the ambulance to get rubber gloves and commented in his hearing: “I can’t get vital signs.”


As it turned out, that was the same restaurant I would have recommended for lunch yesterday. Consequently, I suggested instead that he come to my home. I’d fix lunch. You guessed it. I grilled steak for the second consecutive meal along with a side of grilled corn on the cob and grilled asparagus. If anything, in my humble opinion, it was a meal fit for a king.


The thing that made the meal remarkable was the company and the conversation. The guy isn’t professionally in what you’d typically think of as a human services delivery occupation, but he delights in opportunities to help others in lots of different venues and circumstances. I’ve also observed that he makes his servant leadership look amazingly easy. The guy is always smiling and seldom seems rattled over much.


We talked of many things over lunch and as is always the case, when you are in the midst of meaningful conversation there is never enough time. He had a mid-afternoon work commitment in Georgetown. Noticing my watch, I told him he needed to hit the road. I’m a seasoned commuter and I know it always takes a lot longer than you might anticipate.


The General has trained me well. Before I could get back to computer time and fulfilling some responsibilities in that regard, I needed to clean the kitchen. I noticed that the “high-end kitchen faucet” was set to sprayer mode. I’m sure I’d used it as such when I gave the kitchen sink the final rinse the evening before. I pressed the little black button for the normal flow of water and nothing happened. Surprisingly no water was coming out of the faucet. I subsequently pressed the button to return back to the sprayer mode. Guess what? “No water was coming out of the faucet at all. And just for the record it wasn’t because I had inadvertently turned off the faucet.


I immediately had a panic attack. I had tried my hand and home improvement when we replaced the faucet last time. The lady who waited on the General and I at Home Depot assured us that anybody could install the faucet. She had recently done so at her home and “if she could do it, anyone could do it”.


I took the bait and for a period of about four hours and another trip back to Home Depot to buy a special tool needed for installation, I did everything but stand on my head before the faucet installation was completed. I remember the experience well. I will never do it again!


At any rate, I opted to unscrew the faucet sprayer from the faucet. It was a simple process just like the one pictured above. This was going to be easy. I’d just make a quick trip to Home Depot and buy a new sprayer. The concept seemed valid, but it was all magical thinking on my part. “Sure, you can order a new one on-line if you know the model number, but we don’t carry them in the store”, were the disturbing words shared with me by the helpful employee of the store. He went with me over to look at the display of Moen faucets and wrote down a model number that probably would be closest.


He asked, “How old is the faucet”. I replied, “I don’t know, we’ve had it a long time.” What was I thinking? We haven’t had it a long time. I know that because I blogged about the experience of installing the last one. Actually, the General was so proud of me for the accomplishment that she thought I could single-handily take on replacing the hot water heater the following week when it went out.


For the record, I wasn’t that gullible. I knew I couldn’t do that! Consequently the plumber that came out to do the work, took one look of the hot water heater and stated to the General that the “CODE” had changed and several modifications needed to be made including electrical work and who knows what else. I never dreamed you could spend over $1,600 replacing a hot water heater, but if memory serves me correctly we did.


The guy at Home Depot said of the Moen faucet: “We can sell you a new one. It’s just a little over $400.” I smiled and said: “Thanks but no thanks! I was a sucker for believing anyone could install one last time. I’m not going there again.” He laughed and said: “I know what you mean. I wouldn’t take on a project like that either.”


Later I thought again about his question: “How old is it?”  I vaguely remember some reference to a warranty when we bought the last one. At this point, the kitchen faucet is inoperable. Will I get it repaired? Only time will tell.


At any rate, last night I invested several hours on the computer. Before I called it a night, I complied some information I had promised to send to a friend before the end of the day.  I looked at the clock. It was five minutes to midnight. I was going to be true to my word.  Just as I was reaching for the send button after attaching the document to my email, the notation came up “Server Not Found”.  Okay, so I invested another fifteen minutes looking for it only to discover, I could not get back online.


Today an air conditioner crew is coming to replace the air conditioner in our bedroom. That too, will be problematic because the attic in our bedroom is sequestered from the other areas of access in our home. They will have to enlarge the available space to we currently have in the ceiling of our bedroom closet in order to get a new unit in place.


This could be the beginning of a “No good, terrible, no good day.”


All My Best!