I chose to take a cold shower this morning. I took one yesterday, too. I have this to say: Brr.
The water heater for our building has been sputtering to a painful death for awhile now, and it finally did so early Sunday morning. Eighteen households without hot water on a day when no one is going to budge an inch to fix the problem. Our HOA elections just might have been decided this weekend.
But that was yesterday. Today maintenance was going to fix the problem. They just need to turn off the water for a "few" hours.
Gentle Readers, water is critical when there are two sticky-fingered, chalk-eating, dirt-flinging, diaper-stripping, juice-splashing children in the house.
|It turns out yogurt makes some pretty nice splashes, too.|
|A zebra, of course.|
Just thinking about it makes me want to go wash my hands and everything else the children have touched.
So yes. My options this morning were to take a cold shower before they turn off the water or to pack up the children and find the nearest heated shower with built in babysitter.
A cold shower it was.
And, it may surprise my neighbors to hear this: I survived. My hair didn't curl tighter, my fingers and toes did not get frostbite and fall off, my lungs did not get paralyzed in a permanent inhale of frigidness.
Several years ago, in the blissful idealism of youth, I once promised myself that I would take a cold shower perhaps once a month as a reminder that a warm shower is not an inalienable right. I figured the regular reminder that running water is a luxury, much more so warm running water, would keep me from getting too convinced of my entitlement to such comforts. "Don't take it for granted," and all that.
I think I kept up that plan for approximately 3 seconds.
When a warm shower is possible, a cold shower is… well, taking a cold shower is the stuff of idioms.
Ironically, earlier in the week (perhaps one of the times they turned off the water trying to fix the dying thing), I was reminded of this niche of skills I want to teach my kids. How do you survive when a water or power outage catches you off guard? How do you prepare when you know of one beforehand?
CutieLittleBoy has been carrying around a copy of a publication by the Southern California Earthquake Center, asking awed questions about the red, orange, and yellow squiggles covering the map to show the potential effects of "The Big One" all of California is dreading. That sort of preparation is important (just ask my dear, beloved SOS whose pseudonym is somehow getting more and more appropriate as time passes), but my desire to teach my kids these skills is so much greater than merely preparing them to survive the earthquake that will drop California into the sea. Yes, of course I want my kids to survive that, but I also want them to enjoy camping and traveling to places where a poorly run HOA would be an improvement on local government and infrastructure.
And that, Friends, is another reason why I count every day in our tiny house as an important inoculation against entitlement--for me and the kids. The average home price in our city straddles a million dollars and home buyers are paying about $400 per square foot. (We got a bargain!) Let's put the average home size at 2,500 square feet. In case you didn't know, that just isn't normal: not in the US, and certainly not internationally.
I may not ever choose to take a cold shower when a warm one is only a matter of finding the H in addition to the C, but at least I know I can if the situation warrants it. And maybe my kids will never choose to live in a tiny house, but at least they will know it can be done.
|All cleaned up...|
|Could these really be the same children?|