Some words of wisdom watered down

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of life lessons and words of wisdom.

Array

Array

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of life lessons and words of wisdom.

Whenever I come across a phrase or tidbit that causes my inner being to sit up and smile I cut it out or jot it down and tuck it away in my think box.

Or sometimes I put it on a Post it and thumb it to the wall behind my computer screen.

Stuck to my wall right now are the words, “To change everything, simply change your attitude.”

Why is that we are always looking to the outside to find happiness for our insides?

That never works.

Oh, maybe briefly at best, but it never packs the sort of inner peace that lasts. I believe happiness is more a state of mind than a state of circumstance.

And when I forget, I have my Post it right there on the wall to remind me.

Some words of wisdom I use so often I don’t need to write them down. Such is the case with this little gem: righty tighty, lefty loosey.

I have always believed that no one should unleash themselves onto the unsuspecting world without it.

It simply means if you turn something to the right – lids, bolts, hose couplings – it will tighten and if you turn it to the left it will loosen. There are a few exceptions, but on the whole you can’t go wrong with this marvelous little mantra.

Or such was my thinking when I was recently asked for assistance in turning on a newly installed irrigation system.

A lid nestled into the ground by the foundation of the house lifted to reveal a tangle of electrical wires and a row of three knobs.

The first knob, I was told, was for starting the irrigation.

With an air of confidence and the words, “Righty tighty, lefty loosey” tap dancing in my head, I knelt down and turned the knob to the left. Nothing seemed to be happening.

“Lefty loosey,” I said confidently.

“What did you say?” asked the homeowner, starting to look concerned.

I spun the knob a little more to the left. At this point water started running out from the bottom of the knob.

Not a lot, but enough to catch our attention.

For reasons which now seem shaky at best, I felt in order to slow the leak the knob needed to be loosened even more.

My thinking was because the valve was not fully open the excess pressure was forcing water to exit where it should not be exiting.

“A little more lefty loosey should do the trick,” I said, whistling a little. Whistling is always a good thing to do when you want to appear confident and project an air of calm. It was a short whistle.

Imagine, if you will, my great consternation when instead of stopping the leak, turning the knob caused it to come off in my hand altogether.

The situation quickly escalated as an impressive geyser shot up from the knob hole, blasted me in the face, wetting my whistle before projecting itself another 20 feet in the air where it thundered against the soffit and rained back down on our heads.

I stood with my mouth hanging open, the lefty loosened knob dangling from my hand, my water logged glasses blinding me to the look on the homeowner’s face; which was probably just as well.

Then, since my mouth was filling up with water, I closed it, wiped at my glasses, fought off the urge to flee and bent down to try and rectify the situation.

“Oh my goodness!” shouted the homeowner, wondering whatever had possessed her to think that my knowing the difference between a peony and a pansy gave me the necessary credentials to run a high tech irrigation system. “What shall we do?”

“Righty tighty!” I babbled, adding a few other short phrases under my breath best not repeated here. Let’s just say they weren’t from my think box or off a Post it on my wall and leave it at that.

Water sprayed in every direction at once while I frantically tried to thread the knob back onto the spout. Several minutes and a great deal of water later the knob was back in place.

“What you might want to do,” I said later, as we stood gasping and dripping all over the sidewalk, “is to only turn the knob a little to the left.

“That appears to be important. To help you remember just think ‘a little lefty loosey’. Would you like me to write that down for you?”

Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from Northern BC. You can catch up on past columns or check out her garden blog by visiting www.shannonmckinnon.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,183 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

50.5% of all active cases are variants of concern

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie pose for a photo at the Mirror restaurant. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Alberta Health Services delivers ‘closure order’ to Mirror restaurant

Alberta Health Services says it has delivered a closure order to a… Continue reading

Flags bearers hold the Canadian flag high during the Flags of Remembrance ceremony in Sylvan Lake in this October file photo. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
New project to pay tribute to Canadians killed in Afghanistan

Flags of Remembrance scheduled for Sept. 11

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
Security and police block the entrance to GraceLife Church as a fence goes up around it near Edmonton on Wednesday April 7, 2021. The Alberta government has closed down and fenced off a church that has been charged with refusing to follow COVID-19 health rules. Alberta Health Services, in a statement, says GraceLife church will remain closed until it shows it will comply with public-health measures meant to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hundreds gather to support Alberta church shut down for ignoring COVID-19 orders

SPRUCE GROVE, Alta. — Hundreds of people are gathered outside an Alberta… Continue reading

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces is developing contingency plans to keep COVID-19 from affecting its ability to defend the country and continue its missions overseas amid concerns potential adversaries could try to take advantage of the crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian special forces supported major Iraqi military assault on ISIL last month

OTTAWA — Some Canadian soldiers supported a major military offensive last month… Continue reading

A woman pays her repects at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The joint public inquiry in response to the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia has announced a mandate that includes a probe of the RCMP response as well as the role of gender-based violence in the tragedy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Creating permanent memorial to Nova Scotia mass shooting victims a delicate task

PORTAPIQUE, N.S. — Creating a memorial for those killed in Nova Scotia’s… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Erin O’Toole says ‘I didn’t hide who I was’ running for Conservative leader

OTTAWA — Erin O’Toole assured Conservative supporters that he never hid who… Continue reading

Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau, second from left, celebrates his goal with teammates, from left to right, Matthew Tkachuk, Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson, of Sweden, during second period NHL hockey action against the Edmonton Oilers, in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Jacob Markstrom earns shutout as Flames blank Oilers 5-0 in Battle of Alberta

CALGARY — It took Sean Monahan breaking out of his goal-scoring slump… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia's opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan's government, but they say Monday's throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province's economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s opposition parties acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented… Continue reading

A grizzly bear walks on a treadmill as Dr. Charles Robbins, right, offers treats as rewards at Washington State University's Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center in this undated handout photo. Grizzly bears seem to favour gently sloping or flat trails like those commonly used by people, which can affect land management practices in wild areas, says an expert who has written a paper on their travel patterns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Anthony Carnahan *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Grizzly bears prefer walking on gentle slopes at a leisurely pace like humans: study

VANCOUVER — Grizzly bears seem to favour gently sloping or flat trails… Continue reading

FILE - In this July 27, 2020, file photo, nurse Kathe Olmstead prepares a shot that is part of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, N.Y. Moderna said Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, its COVID-19 shot provides strong protection against the coronavirus that's surging in the U.S. and around the world. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)
The COVID-19 wasteland: searching for clues to the pandemic in the sewers

OTTAWA — When Ottawa Public Health officials are trying to decide whether… Continue reading

Most Read