Day ten. Today is our tenth without hot water. My wife was taking a shower when suddenly the water went cold. We’re thankful her shower coincided with the rupture of our water heater’s tank because I was able to grab my shop vacuum, which sucked up the water from our basement floor before damage was done, and to shut off the water lines in and out of the now useless heating tank, throw the breaker, and call for a repair.
Having no hot water flowing from our faucets is what we now call a First World problem. Millions of earth’s people would be moved to tears of wonder and joy if they could only turn a spigot and have potable cold water flow into their dwellings. For them, hot water would be a luxury beyond belief. Girls walk miles to fill jugs with questionable water which they then carry miles back home on their heads. Water, cold or hot, from a faucet in the home would probably seem to them paradisiacal.
Day ten of taking baths not showers. Day ten of heating water on our kitchen stove to carry upstairs to the bathtub and of washing our hair in a sink (in mid July when cold water doesn’t feel bad). We know how to cope easily with this First World inconvenience. For two decades worth of summers we vacationed happily in our friends’ cabin in the Pocono Mountains without running water on site. All I had to do was load the back of our car with empty five-gallon jugs, fill them at one of the state park’s faucets, and bring them back. Not on my head.
Yes, we had to heat cold water for bathing, washing dishes, and cleaning, but the cabin had an electric stove, a decidedly modern convenience. It also featured an outhouse, but that’s another story.