If any element has defined my life in the last twelve months, it would be water. As many of you remember, last spring, we got so much rain that two of our cities were flooded in huge part, and so much rain fell on farmland as to make the planting late and fairly unproductive. Our garden was worthless in the end, most things died in July from too much of the wet stuff.
Again, in the depths of this vicious cold spell, water is ever on our minds. Or the lack of it. For it seems that that is what we are facing now. Oh, not to worry. It sounds worse than it is, but it’s hardly a delightful experience we are now having. The Contrarian has said that at least he can get me to the bus station should I decide to leave him. Said in jest I must emphasize.
As the temperature finally climbed to within a few degrees of zero, it became time to see what the basement held for us in regards water. There was no point in attempting the feat early in the morning since temperatures were registering below -20.
Of course, as you might expect, no water was forthcoming when the appropriate widget was turned. The Contrarian quickly set up a space heater to thaw the valve. Finally, that turned, and low and behold, water came forth, but not from the spigot as one would hope, but from the sides of the valve where it had split and frozen.
So much for worrying about the other pipes, we were going no where fast in the water department. Given the temperatures, there was no question of trying to see whether we could get out. Getting stuck and having to walk back to the house was not a sane idea.
So we waited. This morning dawned with temperatures nearly 18 degrees above the evil zero. Alas, the hose from the basement, had frozen and not recovered in the basement. Eventually that was brought up and placed in front of the stove to thaw, all the while tipping it to the basement every so often to drain water rather than let it puddle on the carpet. (You should assume that our carpet is a mess generally from dogs, cats, wood and the like.)
Meanwhile, Parker decided it was time to try the lane. I had little if any hope that this would be profitable. But shocking as it was, he made it and returned with the mail of several days. Not long after, he set off for Walker and the UBC hardware/lumberyard. (UBC stands for You Been Cheated, locally, for obvious reasons. A captive audience usually pays top dollar or drives another 20 miles to a fairer place.)
He returned with a bag full of goodies, only a plumber would love. Of course, plumbers no longer do this kind of work, they are all applying for journalist credentials to report on foreign wars. Soon a hose was connected up and praise the Lord, water came forth. All with a bright new shiny sprayer attachment. Now we have nice water at the top of the basement stairs all ready to fill any and all large containers.
Whoopie! We can flush with abandon. No baths though, unless one is very determined to heat a lot of water on the stove. But if I had to choose, I’d choose flushing ability over not stinking. At times like this, one can only imagine how our ancestors managed without electricity or indoor plumbing.
The wind has now picked up substantially, and the snow is beginning to blow. The Contrarian may have gotten out just in time. We may be snowed in by the morrow. One gets numb to the variety of mishaps that can occur. But we feel a certain blessing. We do have running water, just now through the usual orifices of sink spigots and such.
The issue is that once the Contrarian attempts the removal of the valve and replacement, he is committed. Once off, it’s off for good, and if he can’t get the new one in place, we will have no water again. So there is some trepidation at beginning this adventure. Especially at this juncture with the wind having come up so strongly. Better to wait until tomorrow, see if we are still free to leave the land for travel or not. Only then, is it safe to begin the process.
It’s tiresome and I have to admit, I’m not thinking I would have made a very good pioneer woman. I rather enjoy my creature comforts, at least those I have come to feel essential to my existence. I plainly like running water that is both hot and cold. I don’t think I would care to live without those conveniences. A couple of days has already been too long. I guess I am a bit of a pampered pet, accustomed to water on demand.
So that’s how things stand as of now. It’s fairly warm again indoors, and we have water. I’ve noticed that I have taken a distinct dislike to wind. Perhaps I’m beginning to feel the same about water. It’s getting to be a pain in the arse. Hope you are faring better this winter. I’m rather tired of the whole thing myself.