Apparently, the development in which we live has ongoing problems with its water system and once or twice a year we are notified that the water will be shut off while they do repairs. This happened recently on July 16th (for two hours) and again yesterday, July 19th (for four hours, between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM).
As a member of the NextDoor app community I saw that one neighbor had posted reminders about these shut-offs, which we very much appreciated. She had included in her reminder the suggestion that we turn off our ice makers during those hours, something I never would have thought to do. The only official notifications from the Fox Pointe administration were posters that were displayed on the bank of mailboxes, ostensibly with the assumption that everyone visits their mailboxes frequently enough to catch the 8.5” x 11” black and white notices in time to plan for having no water.
Of course, we managed to survive just fine without access to water for those few hours. But what struck me as a revelation of sorts was the realization of how often/how much water we use during the day. Right away, I asked, “What could I do to while away those hours and remain productive until things returned to normal?” And why is it that the first ideas that came to mind had to do with using water, as though some irritating imp were sitting on my shoulder, planting these thoughts in my head?
Maybe I could do some laundry. (Nope.) How about take a shower? (Nope.) OK, I’ll just do something outside, like water the garden plants. (Can’t do watering without water.) It seemed like everything I thought to do involved water. For that matter, we couldn’t even flush the toilets until the water came back on (although, in the interest of full disclosure, I did put a bit of water in the tub with a bucket next to it in case it became an emergency to flush a toilet during the shut-off time). But, the point is, we often don’t realize how much we rely on these necessary – yet, all too handy – utilities until they’re taken away.
During the four-hour “self-imposed drought” yesterday I had used the toilet without the need for flushing right away. As a creature of habit, I went to the sink, squirted some hand soap in my hand, and then realized I had no water to wash it with! All I could do was take a paper towel and try to get as much of the soap as possible off my hand.
We take so much for granted. I suppose we need times every now and then to have our privileges taken away briefly in order to rekindle our appreciation of what we have on a daily basis.