Sometimes he can repair the damage permanently then and there. Sometimes his service is of a temporary nature to tide your household over until the proper correction can be accomplished either by him or some other artisan whose specialty it is. At the moment this makes little difference. Several summers ago, our water supply failed most inconsiderately just at dinner time. There was plenty of water in the well and the electric pump was functioning but the storage tank was bone dry. What was wrong was beyond our understanding. Worst of all, our village plumber could not be reached even by a fairly resourceful country telephone central. We called our handy man and were greeted by a cheery if long suffering, “What’s the matter now?” We told him and most assuringly he replied, “Sounds like foot valve trouble. I’ll be right over soon as I finish supper.”
And he was as good as his word. Half an hour later he was listening to a pump that could not lure water from well to tank. Then he went down the well and, without aid, came up with the supply pipe. “Here’s your trouble. Leather of the foot valve’s gone. I’ll just cut another.” He dived into the rear seat of his car and returned with a square of sole leather. Using the old leather as a pattern he cut a new one with a sharp jack knife and before dark the supply pipe was back in place and the artificial drought was broken. Thanks to the skill and willingness of this all-essential neighborhood personage, there was once more water for dishwashing and family needs.
This is but one instance of how he has come to our rescue and through the years taught us many things that we can now do for ourselves. Although not over-skillful with tools and things mechanical, we have learned that doing them is sometimes the quickest and easiest way out of our difficulties. Some, of course, were beyond the limits of our simple abilities but we hereby enumerate some twenty of the more common difficulties that may arise inopportunely with country living, and what to do about them.
A sudden break in electric service leaves your house dark. The answer to this is a supply of candles and one or two kerosene lamps filled and ready for use, as well as at least one electric flashlight, in working order and hung in its appointed place. Often before the various lamps are assembled and lighted, electricity will again be available; but if service is interrupted for several hours, as occasionally happens with a serious break in the line or real trouble at the power house, you will have cause to bless the auxiliary lighting. Having it to depend on just once will well repay the trouble of making it available. Be sure, also, that you have at least one complete set of extra fuses to repair the damage of a short circuit caused by defective appliances or lamp cords. Never, never put a penny into a fuse socket.