It shouldn't have been a surprise, really. However, like several of my local friends, this past Saturday I woke up to a little water-related surprise. In my case, though, it was only hot water I was without. (Two friends had none whatsoever.) Having gone to bed with the cabinet doors beneath all sinks open to allow heat and air flow to reach the pipes and a thin stream of water dripping - as recommended during this Unusually Cold For Our Area patch - I was taken off-guard.
Never mind. It soon became clear that there was little I could do about it, aside from check outside to make sure nothing seemed to have burst and that there was no water running into the yards. There wasn't. So I aimed a space heater under the cabinets and got on with my day's activities.
But by 3 or so in the afternoon, temperatures had never risen above freezing and I still had no hot water. Plus? Although my dinner plans that evening were with a friend I jokingly recall as having once lived in a commune and who seems slightly less concerned with the rigid showering schedule I prefer for myself, I wanted that shower. Badly. And I wanted to wash my hair. So I started boiling water and moving it around so I could boil more and more. As I moved water from container to container, a sobering thought occurred to me: Within mere weeks I'm heading off to live for a while in a long-empty house in West Virginia. Where it's cold. Sometimes really cold. (Alert readers will have noticed my daddy's pointing out the ONE lonely degree in said WV town, the same weekend my hot water froze inside its pipes. The morning I woke and it was 9° here.) What Was I Thinking, that I could head up the road with a bunch of blankets, some canned food for backup, get some firewood, and hunker down for the winter? Can anybody say water?
So yea, as I boiled water and prepared to take a "bath" in a pan in the sink, I suddenly realized there's no way on earth I'm moving anywhere without a stash of water as backup. And as I waited for the water to boil, I thought of how easily it could have been me instead of Dena and Margot without any water at all. What then? No washed hair? No brushed teeth? As If! So I took out all the lidded containers in my cabinets and I filled them with water. Just in case. You never know when this silliness will be repeated. I have no intention of compromising my hygeine because of poor planning.
Perhaps you'll be happy right along with me that just about the time I got really going on my little sink bath, the hot water miraculously started flowing again. So I got to shower and wash my hair under the pounding, gloriously-heavy stream from the shower. It may have been the best shower of my life.
Now it's got me thinking, though. I never was a Girl Scout. I never learned the art of extreme preparation for any and everything nature could bring me. Apparently I'm going to have to learn, though. If I can be blindsided by frozen pipes here in the town where I've lived for 12+ years and tend to know what to expect, who knows what can happen once I head off for my little retreat in the mountains?
Is it just me or does it seem like I'm getting just a tiny little bit too much of a kick out of the idea of finding myself an adventure? Somebody might just have an overactive imagination. But I'm not naming any names.
PS: There's a handy link a friend sent me that day. Thought you might find it useful, too: Preventing Frozen Pipes, from weather.com.
Bundle up and stay warm, ya'll!