It’s the little things | Chuck's World
The best NFL team won last Sunday. The best NFL team, speculated about endlessly back in the late summer, won.
They won decisively over arguably the best quarterback in NFL history, and possibly the most potent NFL offense in history, an offense that managed eight points and let’s be fair, barely managed that.
None of this is all that important, except for Seattle fans and maybe football fans in general, but the symmetry and peaceful predictions from what feels like long ago are soothing, in a way. In a way that almost never shows up in sports.
Ah, sports. Let’s not get on our moral high horse about the metaphors of athletics, or about the waste of time we indulge in to watch and play. The world suffers, people starve and die, disease is rampant in some parts of the world, and the weather is freaky.
But some things still work, and that one did.
I had a great day on Super Bowl Sunday, if you’re curious. Due to some prescient airline ticket shopping, and some not-so-prescient looking at the calendar, I managed to book a flight to Austin, Texas on Super Bowl weekend.
Austin is my current home away from home, considering a descendant of mine has been living there for four months and has not seen his grandfather every day of his life.
This is a disgrace, obviously, so I attempt to rectify it when I can.
So I had a great Super Bowl, holding my grandson for part of it and thoroughly enjoying the company I had. Great food, great people.
At the end of the day I was in Football Central, Texasland, home of “Friday Night Lights,” and being the sole Seahawk fan (no one else cared all that much who won) it was even more of a pleasure.
And now we move on, save for my determination to buy the DVD of that game to preserve the memory. As if it needs preserving, and of course I can live without it.
You can live without a lot of things, if my experience has any relevance. Most things, in fact, or it seems, looking around the world. I can certainly live without smallpox, for example.
But, you know. Even within the tiny realm of possible, given a specific situation, there are plenty of painless omissions. I can live without two cars for two drivers in this household, although some days it turns out that means I have to walk 2 miles to get a haircut, and then 2 miles back.
I can, as I understand it, live without food for about a month. Although not, apparently, water or ice cream.
Other things. You get it. We had a slow drain in the bathroom sink recently, and we lived with that for a long time. Since 2006, I think.
It was just hair and dental floss, collected over the ages, but I exhausted my meager plumbing talents and my wife took to putting a mixing bowl in the sink to catch the water rather than fill up the sink with slooooow drainage. I brushed my teeth in the kitchen, and so on. I put off calling a plumber because we could live with it and because I put things off as a spiritual practice.
But the water pressure in that shower dipped seriously and, I don’t know much but, I recognized that these two things might be connected and even if they weren’t (they weren’t), while you can live with low water pressure you really don’t want to. Not really.
So I called my plumber and he came and plumbed real good, cleared up that drain and discovered the pressure problem, which was debris thrown out by an aging water heater. A water heater with a lifespan of 8-10 years that had managed to more than double that.
I hired some handyman guy to replace our water heater in 1996 because it seemed like a lot of work that I would probably mess up, and he must have done a good job.
So the water heater got replaced this week, expensive but what are you going to do? You can live without hot water, but only if you have to.
You can replace your water heater yourself if you’re handy like that and save half the cost, assuming you also have the time, but this is all moot for me.
And now we know what the mysterious problems with our water system are, mostly.
Those little white granules that collect in the screen of the faucet are the arthritic joints and thinning hair of a common household appliance, and we’re fortunate that we could afford to get a new one and not have to try to live without food for 30 days.
I appreciate all of this, these priorities that, with a little reflection, can seem less than necessary but still useful, and fun.
I can live without the Seattle Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, but it didn’t cost me much and I got a lot of pleasure out of it, so feel free to make snide remarks about corporate sports and diversion of attention.
I’m right with you, really I am, I certainly understand the great needs of life that often go unfulfilled.
I just felt like enjoying the game, enjoying the company, and enjoying the sight of a tiny person, wearing his very own Seahawks jersey and trusting that water, when he needs it, will be nice and warm.