Hot Shower

I have this hot shower.

I don’t think I ever take it for granted.  In fact, my little ritual of being grateful for a hot shower every time I turn on that water seems almost silly.  I don’t remember to be grateful every time I turn on a light or use a garage door opener.  But the hot shower… now that’s something!

I did take hot running water for granted until we moved to the rock island in the Caribbean.  No running “city water” there.  Our water came from the rain caught in cisterns.  Rain was scarce, and water brought in a truck to fill the cistern was quite expensive.   A “good hot shower” meant a splash of water, then soaping and shampooing, then another splash for rinsing off.   I’ll never forget my first shower on that island.   In a hotel… the little plaque in the shower said “Water is precious, please help us conserve.”   We just had to laugh our heads off.  There was nothing to do BUT help conserve.  The water gushing full blast out of that faucet was a trickle that would take about four minutes to fill a cup.

Our next island experience was different.  Huge reservoirs of water that came through pipes to our home.  Lots of rain… always plenty of water in the reservoirs.  But storms!  Serious typhoons would come through, destroying electricity and the ability to pump that water.  We’d go days or weeks on end without running water.  It was always so wonderful when our neighborhood was “restored”.  We could have a hot shower, and we could invite friends to come take advantage of our good fortune.

More in my going-without-hot-shower repertoire are those wonderful, self-imposed weeks of camping in the wilderness.  Toward the end of the week, fingernails miserable, hair giving off a strange camp-fire/wool-hat aroma… those great times when you’re just so happy there are no mirrors for miles and miles… it’s then I begin to think of home, and how much I’m going to love that hot shower.  We usually spend some time talking about men like Kit Carson, and just how incredibly tough they were.

So… here I am at home in my county that’s not known for great rainfall.  We know we have to protect our aquifer.  Water, as always, is a precious commodity. And yet… there it is, easy as you please, turn the knob and stand there with good hot water pounding.  On days like today, I’m especially appreciative.  Freezing cold, temperatures in the single digits… I didn’t have to break any ice or build a fire to heat my water.  Our recent ancestors didn’t have it so easy.  I think of the people in these wonderful old photos.  The littlest boy is my great uncle through marriage.  We affectionately called his mother “Sister Clary”.   By the time I knew this woman, to me she seemed so tiny and frail.  But wasn’t she tough!  Weren’t they all?  I love these photos of them in the snow.  At that point in their lives they couldn’t have even imagined something as incredible as the tiled shower with a glass door in my bathroom.

On a frightfully cold day like today… a hot shower, a piping hot cup of coffee at the push of a button, another button to punch up the heat a bit, sitting here at this computer screen…   Modern conveniences?  I think not.  They’re absolute luxuries!  I live like royalty.


8 Responses to “Hot Shower”

  1. KIm Mann says:

    We are indeed fortunate!! Spoiled is more like it! It’s good to be reminded of the pioneers. I wonder if they thought their life was hard, or just enjoyed each day.

  2. KIm Mann says:

    Love these photos, too!!

  3. lawanda calton says:

    I have a large wooden bowl that “Miss Clary” used as a young pioneer. It was for bread making, kneading the dough over and around in the beautiful bowl. I use it on my cabinet once in a while to hold fruit. Always remembering the Clarys!

  4. Cheryl says:

    Spoiled for sure. Every time I turn on the shower I think of people in 3rd world countries who have never had the luxury. Then I almost feel guilty as the warm, pounding water soothes away my aches. When I see photos like yours or old National Geographic photos of mountain climbers, I always think about how these people didn’t have the luxury of polartec or thinsulate type fabrics. They just tried to stay warm with natural fibers. While I know the natural fibers God made keeps those animals warm who sport them, it also makes me think that modern day explorers aren’t nearly so tough as the old ones!! I’ve wondered about your thought, too, Kim. Did they think much about how tough they were or did they just accept life as it came to them?

  5. Robin Green says:

    As one of the ‘island people’ you shared your shower with during typhoon recovery, may I say a hearty Thank You.

  6. Marcea Clive says:

    We are a blessed nation for sure.

  7. Betty Williamson says:

    Oh, my goodness, yes, we are so spoiled! And you are right. I drive past an almost fallen-down shack where my grandparents lived for a period of time with their four small-ish children. My dad remembered snow sifting in between the boards and covering their bed during blizzards. I guess if we were born into those positions, we’d have been tough, too, but I’m enormously grateful to not be there!

  8. Sharon Davis says:

    I again love this photo of Sister Clary and hope that doing without water will make all of us realize how precious it is and that a short shower will work, turning off the water while we brush our teeth will work….we can make lots of things work.

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