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©February 2002

Carol Jane Remsburg


A Day Without Water




Saturday arrived like it normally does without much fanfare.  With the exhaustion of the workweek behind me I was allowed to savor my morning coffee before my little one arose and hubby left for work.  Saturday's are my 'cleaning' days.  And like every other American female I wasn't looking forward to that but afterwards when I could cook and play and have a respite from it all.  Then it happened.


Hubby had left early about 7 AM and it was now just past 8 AM and the house was quiet.  I was finishing the paper and had just started a new pot of coffee in order to get in gear for the day ahead.  It was to be the normal Saturday routine of much laundry (like I don't do that during the week) and scrubbing the bathrooms, straightening, dusting, vacuuming, cooking, and scrubbing the floors.


I walked over to get another cup of coffee in my stocking feet and they got wet.  I glanced down and saw most of the kitchen flood was wet!




It was the refrigerator again!  For the second time in almost two months the water line leading to the refrigerator had chaffed to bleed a hole and water was going everywhere.  Errant plumbing has always been my nightmare—trust me on this.


I grabbed the tiny cell phone (for those phone-to-phone free minutes) and dialed up the 'man of the house' and screamed.  Don was speechless.  Then he kept asking, "What!  What's going on?" 


Finally I pulled myself back down to a more coherent plane and explained what was going on and he directed me to the water shut off valve.  "Luckily, it's in the house now rather than under the house," says he.  But where it is isn't easy to reach—it is now back in the laundry room, utility room, or whatever ya'll want to call it.  That knob is on the floor back by the wall between the washer and the water heater (oh, God forbid I call that big round thing a 'hot water heater').  You'd have to be Houdini to reach it.


Meanwhile I keep the cell phone open and climb up and over the washer until I'm almost vertically inclined.  How I will ever get my feet back on the ground I'm not worried about just yet as water sprays and spreads over and across my kitchen floor.


Finally I reach it and turn it enough to shut down the water to the house. 


Sigh.  It seemed a Herculean effort but it wasn't, it was just fear.


Now hubby tells me he'll be home to fix it all just as soon as he finishes purchasing those bi-fold doors and installing them at the home-owner's request. 


Hours pass.  And I mean HOURS pass.  Where was this man?  I'd mopped up the floor and decided that about all I could do was pick up the mess in the house.  Vacuuming wasn't even an option if he had to tear apart the kitchen when he came home to install 'copper' tubing instead of that plastic stuff.


And there I sat.  I read, played a couple of games with my daughter and remonstrated her NOT to flush the toilet—and this is a kid who tends to forget that small accommodation.  And so you KNOW what she did! 


About 4 hours later, the man of the house arrives and decided NOT to tear the kitchen apart but to simply shut off the water to the fridge.  By then it was nearly 1 PM and my waiting was over and I felt worn.  What did I do?  I clean run through the house and begin dinner which needed WATER before I could begin and would take hours to cook.


I decided to opt out while it simmered and curl up with a book.


Water?  What can you do without it?  Not much.  How 'bout a list?  No laundry, no scrubbing of the bathrooms, no scrubbing the kitchen floors, no real cleaning of the counters with suds and bleach and the tables either.


A shower?  Well, forget that. 


We often drone on about water to drink.  I was lucky we had Pepsi's chilling on the porch.  But I'll tell you, a day without water is a day without, well without.


So the next time you turn on your faucet and that wet, wonderful, clear stuff runs out, remember to feel blessed.


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