Pioneer Woman

I would not make a good pioneer woman.

Lately I’ve been having French drains put all the way around my house. The yard swings from dusty to muddy and my mood with it.

I escaped for a week of the destruction and deep-trench backhoe digging and returned on a Saturday to find the air conditioning unit sitting under a tree, disconnected from the main part of the house. That was no big deal since an entirely different unit cooled the family room. A well-placed fan blew cooled air upstairs to the bedrooms. On a 94-degree day, my house stayed in the high 70s. Problem solved.

But when I stepped into a cool shower that kept getting colder, I realized I didn’t have any hot water. First, I decided clean hair is overrated. Second, I rinsed off and jumped out of that shower. Total shower time: 15 seconds.

It took awhile, but I figured the gas line was disconnected along with the electric AC unit, which came when we replaced the gas furnace, although I wasn’t sure of the connection. (There was no connection. Remember, the science/mechanical part of my brain is microscopic.)

The guys have worked hard on this awful project to keep rainwater out of my basement, so I wasn’t about to call them on the weekend. I knew they’d be back on Monday and would fix the hot water issue.

Meanwhile another day passed and I needed a shower.

Channeling my mom and dad, who both lived in childhood without running water in their houses, I made a simple plan. Boil water and carry it upstairs to the bathtub.

It is not as much fun as it sounds.

I put my biggest pot on the stove and ran half a tub of cold water, added hot, added hot, and noticed that the plug wasn’t sealing tight. By the time the water was lukewarm, there was only an inch left in the tub.

Determined, I ran more cold water, boiled more water, carried it up the stairs, dumped it, ran downstairs to heat more water, then back upstairs. Repeat. Repeat.

Eventually, I took a bath and washed my hair in two inches of warm water. Total bath time: 93 seconds.

Monday morning I found out the gas line had been replaced and my hot water heater had not been lit. I soon had hot water, but I learned two things the hard way.

One: Sometimes we have to do without something to appreciate it.

Two: There’s truth to that old saying, “A watched pot never boils.”

Make that three things.

Three: My parents were strong-hearted people.


P.S. My 2019 Christmas e-book, The Christmas Parade, is now available on Amazon.


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