Thursday, January 29, 2015

Humility Hits the Hermitage

Today brought humility with it to the hermitage.

For one thing, have been dealing with a dishwasher that had a leveling leg that would not budge.  Wired the dishwasher; plumbed the dishwasher--drain hose and water supply line.  But could not complete the effort due to the leveling problem.

Persisted with the appliance and delivery guys at Lowe's for over three months and finally called the manager.  He got action!  (Had even hired Mark to help try to adjust that leveling leg; neither of us had success).  Greg in appliances donated an extensive set of new hex tools, as the usual ones (and ones in the hermit tool repository) did not fit the tiny hole that contained the secret to success.

How wonderful the dishwasher makers put the leveling mechanism hole at the front base so that when the dishwasher is set back in its place under the counter and between cabinets, one does not have to pull out the unit to raise or lower the back.  However, mechanisms can be tricky.  Would have been far easier to simply be able to adjust the back leveling foot the same way as the front ones: just turn them by hand or with channel locks.  Easier to pull out the unit and shove it back in, or so this unit would have fared better that way.

Since this nothing Catholic hermit could not get the mechanism to turn more than a quarter-to-half-a-turn, the manager's next plan was to send out his best delivery guys and also a new dishwasher.  But first, Don in cabinets came to the rescue in the store and tried out raising and lowering the mechanism on the store floor model.  Then he instructed the delivery guys as to how to do it.

Praise the Lord!  At first the delivery man could not get the hermitage dishwasher leveling leg to work at all because his hex tools did not have the correct size.  Aha!  The massive set of all sizes that the appliance man at Lowe's had gifted, had just the right size.  But then, as was the case with the nothing hermit, he could not get it to budge beyond a half-turn.  Yet he had confidence and was familiar with appliances.  He shoved extra hard--beyond what electrician man Mark or nothing would do for fear of breaking it--and the leg raised.  

The two men patiently waited while this nothing hermit crammed into the kitchen base cabinet, and with long fingers stuck through the hole drilled in the cabinet for this purpose, fished out the drain hose, the water supply line, and the power cord.  Then the heroic delivery men slowly shoved the dishwasher under the counter while nothing hermit kept pulling on the three items that otherwise would have been squished in the back of the dishwasher space.

Such a very small thing--not being able to level the dishwasher nor get it back in its spot, nor to be able to continue with plumbing the kitchen sink.  For nearly four months, it was a lingering ordeal, quite frustrating.  Not sure what caused the breakthrough other than the call to the manager when Mark was trying to get the crazy leg to budge.  When the manager heard that a man was here and being paid, and he could not get it to work for fear of breaking it, that made an impression.  He knew the nothing was pursuing every possible means to solve the problem.  That helped, too.  Perseverance.

And humility.  It was so humbling to have these two men be so kind, and to understand what a relief something so small and insignificant could mean as they stood amidst the total mess and chaos of the unfinished hermitage--a shell of a place, jammed with tools and building materials and earthly possessions and definitely not a pleasant habitation.

Then there was a humbling conversation with the financial advisor via phone.  Nothing must do all it can to finish this place, make it salable, and sell.  The money is running dangerously dry, and there is no means of much income given pain and age and having to expend what energy there is on manual labor--very slow indeed!  

There was a humbling email exchange with the adult son over the situation.  There is no help form that correspondence that would be wise or approved.  The nothing Catholic hermit could be grieved, but humility kept its roost in those present moments, as well.  Just accept and be thankful, yet know that there will be much more asked of this body, this mind, this heart and soul--to endure!


Then there was the attempt at plumbing, ah, finally, the kitchen sink double drain and vent piping.  But, alas, the part that nothing hermit ordered for the dishwasher tailpiece drain, was not as advertised and unusable.  Humbling experience to have waited for weeks only to have the obstacle.  Then, could not fit the drill with the hole bit into the small space between studs so as to drill the final hole for the vent pipe.  Too much to describe--yes, this is all trivia, anyway.  But all so humbling.

The only stab from pride today came when the young mother and wife called to discuss our reading, and she served a compliment.  Humility swatted it away, thankfully.  Whatever insights or metaphors such as the clouds, are from His Real Presence.  To Him be the glory.  That is simple enough to know and know well.  Nothing this nothing does has been very admirable especially in this financial mess and renovation conundrum.

Finally, as the hermit was sawing some plywood subflooring to fit into the newly framed upstairs bath (no plumbing done there yet--just 'umble basics), it considered two courses for the pickle it is in.   Try to finish quickly and risk running out of funds soon and hope to sell in the better sales season, or keep on working slowly but surely (and not pay the high labor costs!), and know it will drag on another year for being such a slow worker:  this hermit.  Then drain out the final bits of finances, and hope to sell for whatever, knowing either sooner or later there are going to be major monetary losses.

So humbling!  Hard to believe this hermit was so naive, but 'tis so, and foolish, more so.

When all is gone, if no windfall comes prior (and why or how should it?), nothing Catholic hermit will move on to the next adventure which possibly might include renting a room somewhere with a few unsold family items in a rented storage unit.  Or, might go to a shelter.  Could maybe do some good for the others there--encouraging, listening, empathizing!  But even that idea of usefulness smacks of some pride.  Who does this hermit think it is, that it might uplift fellow shelterers?

Humility hit this hermitage today.  It did not come from anything of this nothing Catholic hermit.  It all came from without, and from within, from within to without and without to within--inexplicably, but ever so humble--so present in the moments.  

Truly, humility is a gift and divine grace, for one cannot conjure it of oneself and do it honor, not really.  It has to come from God.  Our efforts seem to be necessary in allowing space for it within us, and to try to keep clear any pokings of pride. Pride pokers are always attempting inpokes, very cleverly and deceptively.  

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Little children, let us love one another!  Let us love humility in one another for love and humility are of God!

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