I think I do a pretty good job of being grateful for my many blessings. I regularly say thank you for my husband, baby, extended family, job, house, transportation, education, food, and freedoms. But until I read the Hole in Our Gospel a few years ago, it had never occurred to me to be thankful for clean water.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot of facts about water. I’ve learned that close to 900 million people do not have access to clean water and that a child dies from a water-related disease every 20 seconds. I’ve learned that women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water and that the lack of sanitation has caused more deaths than wars. Learning these facts has made me realize that just having access to clean water makes me incredibly lucky, and I have started including water in my thank you prayers.
But it never really hit me until this week.
This week, we are having wood floors put down in the new house as part of our trade arrangement. They are looking great and we are so excited about them! But as part of the work, the fridge, toilet, and bathroom sink had to be moved out. My brain kind of shuts off when people start talking about handyman stuff, but I know I heard the words valves and water lines and I know the husband said a lot of bad words Monday night while working hard with a wrench and all that hard work only resulted in water spraying up from the floors and I had to plug the line with my thumb and it made my thumb hurt. Because of the valves and water lines and water spraying from the floor, we had to turn off the water completely.
At this point we thought the water would be off completely for at least five days, maybe longer. I thought this sounded like an adventure. We were using the restroom and filling our water bottles at QuikTrip, showering at the gym or the old neighborhood pool, and buying gallons of water from Target. You had to strategically time your poops and you began to wonder about the minimum number of times you could shower in a week without stinking. It brings a little of my country roots into my
city suburban life. What’s not adventurous about that?
Like road trips, doing our laundry in the bathtub, and other things I choose to look at as adventurous, the husband did not agree. He called a handyman on the second day and now we are $200 poorer, but we do have clean water again.
Although we were only without water for a little over 24 hours, it caused me to do some reflecting. What if we didn’t have QuikTrip? What if we couldn’t shower at the gym? What if we couldn’t just drive to Target and buy water? What if we didn’t have any access to clean water at all? Seriously…think about that.
Give to organizations that help bring clean water to people, if you can. If that’s not an option, at least realize how lucky you are just for having water. We were without it- sort of- for a little over 24 hours and although adventurous, it wasn’t much fun.
PS I think I’ve been watching too many British things because I initially spelled realize with a ‘s’ instead of a ‘z’.