I’d owned the house for less than two months. I was still learning its idiosyncrasies; its groans and creaks.
There was a continuous dripping in the shower that was really bothering me. It was late at night and I thought if I could just tighten the pipes, it would stop. The pipes were in the hallway wall. I took off the wooden backing and set to work. It only took a couple of turns before the pipe burst and water was gushing everywhere.
I frantically ran downstairs to the basement trying to locate the water shutoff valve the inspector had shown me. I couldn’t find it. After running up and down the stairs a dozen times, I finally stood in the hallway and realized there was nothing further that I was going to be able to do. It was going to flood the house…and it did.
The remainder of the story is that I called 911 and in the middle of a snowstorm a kindly fireman turned the water off. The insurance company sent over repair people. I got a new kitchen complete with a new ceiling fan and new steps in the basement.
The lesson for me was this: there are moments in our lives that, despite our strong desire to be in control, come along to show us that indeed we are not and seldom will ever be. Control is illusionary. The more we hold onto it, the less of it we maintain. We are all eventually constrained to let go and let life happen.