Royal Flush

By June 12, 2020 architecture, Life

During a recent stroll around the neighborhood, James and I passed a house with not one, but two broken toilets sitting on the curb. Desperately waiting for bulky trash pickup.

My first thought: “Wow! They broke both toilets?” Quickly followed by: “I guess we know who bought all the toilet paper.”

While neither thought was really appropriate (although the second one made me chuckle), seeing the toilets made me realize how much extra we’ve been asking our houses to do over the last few months. With so many of us working from home – and schooling at home – we have no doubt added some serious stress to the fixtures, fittings, and equipment we use every day.

So far, James and I have encountered (aside from the commodes) one tired and out-of-style chair; one past-its-prime sofa sans cushions; and a sad bookcase that wandered from one side of the street to the other. And no it does not have legs. Turns out its neighbor was using it for a backstop for field hockey practice.

But what aren’t we seeing?

How many of us (besides our neighbor) have worn out a plumbing fixture in the last three months? Or a major appliance? Something that would normally have a longer shelf life but has endured a bit more than the usual wear and tear?

Hopefully everyone’s been washing their hands more, but that means we’re turning faucets off and on more too. I realized recently that I need to order a new valve for the kitchen hot water tap. I’m sure I’ll remember once the water won’t stop flowing.

We’ve probably been cooking more as well, putting a little more strain on our ranges and fridges. And as I write that, I’m having flashbacks to my mom yelling at us to close the fridge. And that’s when we weren’t home all day.

Now that summer’s here, is the AC next? Or will we realize there’s a little more work to do?

I heard from a contractor recently who has been fielding more calls than usual or expected. After sitting home for three months, homeowners appear ready to make some serious changes to their homes.

Thankfully, the plumbers, electricians, and contractors were deemed essential, and they can haul away the bits of flotsam and jetsam created from sheltering-in-place. Not that I don’t expect to see the odd bit again as we walk the neighborhood.

I just hope it’s not another toilet.

Or two.

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