During the cold spell, a week ago last Saturday, I was sitting alone in the kitchen reading the book review section of the New York Times. Lory had taken Carlyn to orchestra rehearsal. The house was quiet. I was enjoying late-morning coffee and time alone.
I could hear water running. I checked the toilets—you know how they sometimes keep running and you have to jiggle the handle. I went around the house and down into the basement, but couldn’t find any reason why the water would be running. But it was. The water meter was spinning. Something was wrong.
Finally I looked outside to see to my horror that the water pipe for the hose connection on the patio had burst. I immediately shut the water off at the main valve and got out the tools. I removed the elbow that had frozen and burst, went to the hardware store, found the right one, came home and fixed it.
That incident forced me to finally find the shut-off valve for the patio hose connection. It’s been a mystery for the ten years we’ve been in our house. I gave in and called for help. The plumber was puzzled, but he kept looking. Finally he found it—he cut a hole in the basement ceiling and there, hidden away, was the shut-off valve.
The incident was a reminder of all the things we take for granted: hot and cold running water, electricity, the heat that comes on automatically, the car starting in the cold. Most of us have had problems that remind us not to take those basic things for granted.
About fifty-five years ago there was no Unitarian church in Fairfield County. If you were a religious liberal and you wanted to go to church, you had to listen to things you didn’t believe. You know what I mean.
Some folks knew about Unitarianism, so they decided to get together in their own homes—a dozen or so, to start. One thing led to another and soon they needed a larger space—they wanted to have something for their children’s religious education. They rented space at the Westport Women’s Club. In time they outgrew that space and rented a bigger space at the Saugatuck School. They hired a minister.
Some dreamed of having their own building. They made it happen. They got the land, they hired an architect, came up with an exciting design that symbolizes openness and our assertions about the relationship between spirituality and Nature. They built it, and you and I came.
Now we’re in charge— the growth and development of The Unitarian Church in Westport is our shared responsibility. On Sunday, February 27, at 12:30, Frances Sink, our Board Chair, will call the annual meeting of the congregation to order. We have important decisions to make about our future.. I hope you’ll be there–don’t take it for granted. Don’t let the pipes freeze!