The unusual blast of frigid Arctic air that swept though here last week left this part of Texas, if not reeling, then at least with a new respect for the power of Mutha’ Nature. Overnight temperatures in the low teens and single digits and wind chills that reduced those numbers even further to zero or below were the new normal we were facing.
The first front that went through was followed by three days of highs (!) in the teens, which may sound downright balmy to our Northern cousins, but around here that is pretty damned cold.
There was a break of a couple of days and then a second front came through, equally North Pole-ish, and dealt us the coup de grace: many homes had frozen pipes that burst and many, many folks in the outlying countryside had water well equipment freeze up and quit working. Ours included.
No well=no running water=no showers, no flushing toilets, no water to cook with or drink, no washing laundry, no washing dishes, no washing anything that requires water coming out of a faucet.
They say you don’t miss your water ’til the well runs dry. Boy, they weren’t kidding.
However, we are nothing if not prepared. Hubby, ever the good scout, had made sure we had a good supply of drinking water on hand. And since we have a swimming pool, we had 13,000 gallons of water from which he dipped five gallons at a time each for the two buckets we used to flush the toilets.
Not very glamorous, but it gets the job done.
If I wanted hot water to wash my face, I heated up four cups of water in the microwave. Ditto with a smaller amount of water to fill a spray bottle so I could dampen my hair then blow it dry to get rid of some the bed head thing I had goin’ on. I did make a couple of trips into town to shower at my daughter’s house. Ah, sheer bliss.
Initially, always trying to look on the bright side, hubby said:
“Just pretend you’re camping.”
Although I’m not as unhappy a camper as, say, Kate Gosselin was when she visited Sarah Palin in the Alaskan wilderness (“roughing it” with camera crew, production company and hair and makeup artists) I wasn’t about to smile and agree with him.
As Damon Wayans used to say as his t.v. character, Homey the Clown:
“Homey don’t play that.”
Then my husband offered that the early Texas pioneers and ranchers had no electricity and running water and had to use outhouses. They all survived.
I replied “Maybe so, but they didn’t have to be anywhere either.”
They were probably overjoyed if they saw someone other than immediate family once or twice a month. I loved the “Little House on the Prairie” books, but I bet when Laura Ingalls Wilder had a shot at indoor plumbing, she went for it in a heartbeat.
Today the nice young man from the well driller’s company came out and replaced the offending part in the well pump control box. He worked his magic and the precious liquid again started to flow through the pipes into the house—and most importantly—the showers and toilets.
He said he’d been so busy that he racked up over a hundred hours with overtime, which allowed him and his wife to splurge on some new furniture.
I say, good for him. He deserves it. It’s been a tough couple of weeks.
I’m just glad that I can finally kick the bucket—out of my bathroom.