On to plan B - watch online "how to" videos to learn to solder. John watched a few videos, and we made another trip to Home Depot. This time we bought flux, a soldering kit, a small torch and other miscellaneous supplies. Just over $70 later, well over $100 later if you count eating dinner out since we had no water, I was beginning to rethink my decision not to call a plumber. We stopped at Walmart and picked up some bottled water to get us through the evening. John got up first thing Monday morning, and restored the water. He quickly mastered soldering and can now add that skill to his impressive list of talents.
In addition to replacing the pipe, he also installed a main shut off and spliced into the pipe to run water to the faucets in the back yard. The previous owner just had a pipe running from the front faucet and it looked pretty tacky. He did a great job and now we can move on the finishing the original project. Oh wait, since we spent our plant money on plumbing supplies, I guess the flower beds will remain bare. At least John learned some new skills and he definitely stayed busy. No boredom here.