Highs and Lows

There’s a bit too much to this story to include everything so I’ll just hit the highs and lows of it. In fact, for this part, I’ll just stay with the lows.

Those started in the crawl space under the house Friday evening about eight-thirty. That’s when I started pulling wire, drilling holes through two-by-tens, pulling wire, drilling more holes, pulling more wire. Then, I had to crawl back out from under the house to feed more wire down from the closet where the breaker panel is located.

After poking another twenty feet of wire down below, I crawled back under the house, pulled that wire through the main support beam, started drilling more holes and pulling the wire through those holes. No part of the job was comfortable but I’ve been in worse spots, for sure. I could crawl on my hands and knees except for the places where drain lines, heat and air vents or other obstructions were placed below the bottoms of the joists. Which meant that about half the time, I was doing military-style crawling, using knees, toes and elbows. Still, it wasn’t too bad: no spider webs, no shedded snake skins, no critters of any kind that I could see. And besides that, most of the crawl space was “floored” with old tar paper. Except for the part right under the bathroom and even there the dirt was basically “clean” and dry.

Well, it was clean and dry until around ten o’clock. I was using too much pressure drilling a hole. The bit broke through just a bit before I expected it to. That pressure I was using to force the bit through the wood didn’t go to waste, though. No sir, it pushed it right on into the hot water supply line for the tub/shower. I had to crawl out from under the house and get all the way around the back of the house, around the garage and to the front of the house where the main water cutoff is located. I was able to do in a bit less time than most people might expect from a sixty-three-year-old man. As I was walking back to crawl back under the house, I was thinking of a line from Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville.” Not the part about that frozen concoction, the part about whose fault it was.

Fortunately—even though unexpectedly—I had the parts I needed to replace the damaged water line. And it only took about ten minutes to do that. Finishing up the electrical wiring part of the project took another hour. At least the mud was warm…

By the time I drug myself out from under the house for the fourth and final time, my clothes and I were rather well plastered from stem to stern, top to bottom, front to back and most parts in between. I used the garden house to wash off as much as I could then draped my jeans and shirt across the railing on the small deck at the back of the house.

After an all-night soaking and two washes and two rinses, the clothes seemed clean and the washing machine needed a full cycle without any clothes in it to get it cleaned up.

Sometimes, the job is more complicated than we first expected. Sometimes, we manage to make it more complicated by our own mistakes. And, of course, when it comes to God’s work in us, it’s mostly our own mistakes that make the job take more time and effort than it would otherwise.

But, as long as we stay with him till it’s finished, things will work out. And we’ll get clean in the process.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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