Good stress? Never heard of it

Reading the daily horoscope is always good for a laugh, especially when it predicts wonderful romantic encounters plus great wealth and adventurous travel.

Mine for Oct. 15 expounds on stress, noting, “You’ve probably heard that there is good stress and bad stress. However, just now, you’d be wise to avoid both kinds. Take the measures necessary to relax and have some fun.”

Bad stress

So far, in the past 10 days, I promise you there has been nothing but bad stress here and it would have been great to be able to avoid it.

Good stress? Never heard of it.

Remember the new submersible pump? That was indeed very bad stress. But surely that would be the end of water problems.

Of course, during the big storm when the power was out, there was no water. That, too, was bad stress that even good stress when the power came back on could not unfray nerves completely.

Accustomed for six decades to listen for the thump-thump of the old Deming pump and the flickering of the lights every time it came on, I must admit I missed the sound, as there is none from the new pump.

But the lights continued to flicker about every 15 minutes which told me the pump was running.

But I wasn’t drawing any water, so why was this happening? Best I check in the furnace room where the hot water heater and water softener are located.

Even before I opened the door, I could hear the hissing of escaping water.

Talk about bad stress. Sure enough, water was leaking from the rusted-out bottom of an ancient tank that piped water into the hot water heater.

I don’t know how many days I’d been noticing the flicker, but gallons and gallons must have gone down the drain and the problem had nothing to do with the new pump.

To the rescue

Dear friend Jim Shurtleff to the rescue — he’s been like my son since he was 12 and is now 69 and thank goodness, is a plumber — and he came promptly.

He found an ancient valve to turn off and that was perhaps good stress. But then there was no hot water, so that was more bad stress!

Next to the rescue came my longtime friend Ken Pavlik — I was one of his first customers in his Town & Country Inc. heating and air conditioning business about 30 years ago — who sent Richard Duesenberry at 8:30 the next morning.

Richard knows my heating and water system like the back of his hand, and he had the problem solved within 45 minutes.

That was very good stress, and once again I could look forward to a nice hot bath without worrying about flickering lights. Thanks, everyone!

* * *

Let’s move on. Have you noticed that almost everyone these days has very white teeth? Sometimes it seems like they’re nearly too white.

I’ve been tempted to try some of the new whitening products, but it would just be my luck I’d be allergic or have some other reaction.

I’m just fortunate at my age to still have my own teeth, minus a few but up to their task.

* * *

Those mystery ducks I’ve been watching on the pond have finally matured so I can see they are indeed mallards.

They keep busy all day, but in early evening I watch them fly east. There are six and I presume they hatched right there and consider the pond theirs.

Sparrows are such messy birds in their habits, but they do bathe frequently and often and together!

I watch them in the bird bath and they have a fine time splashing and ducking. For the first time the other day I even saw a cardinal take a bath.

* * *

With all the political hoopla going on, it occurs to me that every single candidate for any office must have a monumental ego.

To be so convinced you can do everything better than anyone else has to be an ego trip beyond comparison.

About the Author

A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More Stories by Janie Jenkins

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