One thing nobody mentioned when I was talking to various people ahead of buying my first house a few years ago was buckets. Plural.
“Make sure you buy a step-ladder”, they said.
“You’re going to need a roof rake for the winter”, they said.
Extension cords, a shop-vac, those disposable drain-zippers that pull disgusting squirrel-sized clumps of hair out of your bathroom sink drains…all things that were suggested to flesh out the basic tool kit I had been maintaining for the nearly two decades since I had moved out of my parents’ house. And all of these things have come in very useful in the last almost three years, for sure.
But what happens when you have to open a drain pipe to replace a P-trap and the sink is full of gross water that hasn’t drained in days and is full of gods only know what? How do you store water for flushing the toilet during a big storm where the power will surely be going out? How do you tansport sand and salt for your inevitably icy driveway in the winter time?
Buckets. You need them.
And I…did not have any. We were making due with large mixing bowls, empty plastic totes left over from moving, reusing gallon water jugs…you get the picture. It’s not like we’re in a constant state of needing to contain fluids around here, by the way…but you know. Stuff happens. And it wasn’t that I was resistant to buckets or the buying there-of in any way. It was mostly just that buckets were never front of mind whenever we went to the hardware store, so they never ended up getting purchased.
Fast forward to last week. Back to back ice storms (thanks, climate change) turned our driveway into a slush-fest, which then froze over into an icy death trap. We had been storing some driveway sand in one of the aforementioned plastic totes, but those totes are big and sand is heavy. Plus we only have a small car, so while getting an empty tote into the trunk and out to the town sand pile is no big deal, removing said tote half-full of heavy, wet sand from the small car’s trunk upon returning home is a full-on struggle bus situation with much back-tweaking potential. Which is all a really long-winded way of saying that our driveway was icy as fuck, we needed some sand, and we had no reasonably good way of transporting said sand.
“Maybe we should get a bucket,” was my contribution to the sand-acquistion logistical discussion we had after using up the last of last year’s sand to try and get the car unstuck for the third time last week (which didn’t end up working, by the way).
Once we were able to get out of the driveway again, thanks to an entreprenuerial snowplow driver with a sander on his truck, we made our way to the local hardware store in search of a bucket.
Turns out the store had more sizes and types of buckets than we were expecting (which was one. I was expecting 5-gallon buckets and nothing else, given that this is not a big box store. Shows how much I know), so we ended up getting buckets…plural. We got two 5-gallon buckets and a 1-gallon bucket, the idea being that the big buckets were for sand transport and the little one was for sand dispersal. We went and got sand the next day, made the driveway much less treacherous, and felt pretty accomplished afterward.
And middle-aged. Because what screams “middle aged home owner” more than purchasing multiple buckets for the conveyance of driveway sand? Not much, for me. I’ve bought cars, furniture, appliances, insurance, even this actual house…and none of that made me feel quite as adulty as spending a Saturday morning buying buckets.