All’s Well That Ends Well—George Davis
Are you there, God? It’s me. How can this day be so loaded with dying or dead appliances? After all, God. I did go to your church this morning. And this is what I came home to?
This has been the roughest week of my life. It started Sunday afternoon after I got home from church. If I had to put this in just one word. It would be, catastrophic. First, my car died on me. I guess it needs a new battery. It is twenty years old with 250,000 miles on it. That isn’t all. I came home to a mess in my cellar. The sump pump misfired leaving me with six inches of water. If that isn’t enough, my TV went on the fritz. No sound, and no picture.
Oh, that isn’t all that happened to me on Sunday. I do my laundry on Sunday. Guess what? My washer made a growling sound and then died.
I know now. I should have married Sally Jo when she asked me. Yeah, she proposed to me. I wasn’t ready for marriage then, and I don’t know that I am now. It was two years ago Sally Jo, and I stood on this very porch when she proposed. “Jack,” she said, “won’t you reconsider? I have my future to think about. I can’t stay single the rest of my life.”
I told her I’d think it over. Three days later, I announced my verdict, “I’m not ready for the Ido’s, Sally Jo. I’m still young, and I want to see more of this big blue world we live in.” She walked away, and I haven’t seen her since. I hear she married Bill Sweet and moved to Ohio, his home state.
Monday morning I sat with a cup of coffee and pondered my situation. No matter how I look at it. It is going to cost me a lot of money.
“How much, Grady?” I asked the garage owner. “My name is not Rockefeller. I’m a little ole peon. Is there any way you can cut me some slack?”
“Listen, (Jack) Miller. If I could slash the price. I would. Now do you want the battery or not?”
At $69.95, I told him to go ahead and replace it.
I called the appliance repairperson, Bo Newcomb. He came over and pronounced the verdict on my washing machine. “Jack, you need to replace this old relic. Sure, I can fix it, but it would cost you nearly as much as a new one.”
“Come on, Herb, I ain’t the richest guy in town, you know.”
“Jack, a sump pump twenty years ago was half of what it costs now. The profit margin is so narrow it’s almost invisible.”
“Okay, when can you come over and install it?”
“Oh, you want it installed?”
“Of course. I’m not the plumber, Herb. You are.” He said there’d be a fifty-dollar service charge plus sixty dollars an hour labor. I told him to never mind. I’d do it myself.
I went over to Herb’s hardware store. Picked up the pump, and went back home to install it. Did I say, install? I couldn’t get the old pump out of its hole. I did trigger the pump, and the water dissipated quickly.
Now, the fun begins. I had no idea how to remove the old pump. I went down to Ace Hardware and purchased a service manual. Trust me these people write in a very strange language. It might as well be in Egyptian Hieroglyphs.
“Hey, pal. Can you give me any clues on how to install a new sump pump?”
“I’m sorry. I am a carpenter by trade. Been out of work for over a year. I took this job to see me through my healing process.” I didn’t want his life history, but I got it anyway.
No one at the hardware store could give me any hints. I was in deep trouble. I have always worked with my head, not my hands. I can’t saw a board straight, or turn a screw without difficulty. I was stumped, and worse than that, more water kept coming up through the hole.
As I was tugging on the old pump, I heard my doorbell ring. Going upstairs, I opened the front door. “Hiya, Jack.” It was an old friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. Mel Norton moved away from Bickford a year ago settling in Nashua New Hampshire.
“Well, Mel. Come on in. How’ve you been pal?”
“Good, how’ve you been, Jack?” I told him of all my recent troubles. He said, “that pump is no problem. I’m a plumber, remember?”
“Great, Mel. I was downstairs trying to figure out how to remove the old pump and install the new one.”
“Let’s go down and take a look, Jack.” He took one look at the situation and rolling up his sleeves. He removed the pump in less than five minutes and installed the new one.
“Let’s go upstairs and have a cup of coffee,” I said.
“You know what, Jack. I’d like to go over to the Wayfarer and get a little lunch.” He drove me over to the diner in a brand-new Cadillac Escalade. “You know, Jack. I miss Winnie and the diner. That eatery was my home away from home, or office away from the office. I used to bring all my bills each month and write checks for them in that diner.
Winnie the waitress greeted us at the door. “Well, well if it isn’t my favorite two men. How are you, Mel. I especially miss you. I see Jack every week. How’s it going down in Nashua?”
“Great, Winnie. You haven’t changed one iota since I left a year ago. You are still the best-looking waitress in New England.”
“You’re still the same suave, tall-dark, and handsome as you ever were. You know how to make a girl feel blessed.”
“It is so good to see you again, Winnie. I’ve missed you.”
“Same here, Mel. Ken and I were talking about you just yesterday.”
“All good. I hope.”
“Okay you two lovebirds,” I said. “Can we eat now? I’m starved.” Winnie took our orders. I asked for the meatloaf. Mel wanted the fried haddock.
We didn’t talk much during our meal. I guess we were brought up to sit at the table and keep quiet. My father always said you don’t come to the table to talk. You come to eat.
Mel told me he was going to be in town for three more days and offered to help me with my problems. I was so glad to find someone who had the skill of repairing broken things.
“Let’s look at that TV of yours, Jack. I think I might be able to fix it.” He moved the idiot box away from the wall, hemmed and hawed several times, and said, “I know what the problem is, Jack. It’s this little wire right here.” He then proceeded to reattach the loose cable. The TV came on, and it seemed to me, much brighter and clearer. “That calls for another cup of coffee. This time I’ll make it. I bought some pastry yesterday; eclairs, creme rolls, and jelly donuts. Take your pick, Mel. Have one of each.”
Mel ate three donuts. It wasn’t the money. It was the fact that he is skinny as a flagpole. I, on the other hand, am a bit stout, if that’s possible.
Being with old friends, I feel at peace, thanks to a loving God.
I am sorry I doubted God. He has been my God for many years. I trust Him. He is reliable. And, thank God for His promise: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”