Those who cannot remember the past……

…..are condemned to repeat it. So said George Santayana.

….we repeat….and we repeat……

Years ago when building our house in Nevada, we had to lay 1500 feet of conduit, through which the wires for electric service would be pulled. DH and I slaved for several days to dig the trench, glue the pvc pieces together, lay the pipe in the trench, and then rebury the pipe.  We patted ourselves on the back for a job well done, then called the electric company to come pull the wire.

“You did put the rope in, right?” asked Mike, the supervisor. Rope? What rope?  Apparently a rope is put into the conduit, tied to the one end of the wire, and is then winched from the other end, pulling the wire.

No rope. No hope. We tried getting creative:  we put a small radio-controlled car in one end of the pipe and tried to guide it to the other end, pulling the rope behind. Signal was too weak.  We considered feeding stiff wire….but realized that there was no way could feed 1500 feet of it. Mike gave us the solution:  tie a plastic bag to the rope, feed it into one end of the conduit, and then apply a vacuum cleaner hose to the other. Voila:  instant rope in the conduit!

Fast forward 15 years.  Two years ago DH had planned to put more solar panels on the roof of the main house. In preparation, he dug a trench and laid conduit between the house and the power shed.  He eventually put more panels on the guest house roof, rather than the main house, and the conduit was unused. Now, we are planning more panels on the main house, and he bought wire to pull through the conduit today.

But… rope….we forgot to put it in. This conduit is much smaller in diameter than that in Nevada, and the plastic bag did not smoothly sail through the pipe. After hours of frustrating attempts, I finally tied a small balloon, barely inflated, to the rope


… remember that for the next time!