by Pettus Read
We all currently live in a time of life and history when the word convenience is considered a necessity. Everyday there are many things that each of us take for granted as we go about our individual tasks. The health we enjoy, the sunlight of a fall day, the singing of a bird, a harvest moon, electricity, safe food, lots of safe food, Ziploc bags, ATM machines, a green traffic light, a roll of Duct tape, and hot water, just to name a few.
If it is not convenient, we don't do it. It is not the fact we are a lazy society, but instead we have found we can work smarter so we do not have to work harder. Okay, we may be lazy but we do enjoy convenience. For example, we no longer open cans with a can opener because manufacturers have recognized the fact we like convenience. So now, everything from tomato soup to dog food has pull tops on cans. Just like the buggy whip factory, the can opener factories are looking for new things to do.
All of these conveniences should never be taken for granted. One convenience item I have taken for granted and should never have done because I knew better than to do so, is hot water. Having grown up at a time when we did not have running water in our home and the only hot water you had came from the top of the stove should have prevented me from ever taking hot water for granted. But, I did recently and I confess to my sin.
Hot water prepares our coffee in the morning, helps get active kid's faces washed for school and is vital if you are the type of person that enjoys a long shower to start the day.
After a near death experience a few weeks ago, I now worship the faucet from which it comes. I almost died!
It all began after a day of hard work during our recent "Indian Summer" of above normal temperatures for this time of the year. I had worked hard and became quite dirty from doing some construction work around my house. As I entered the house, I was informed by my wife that we had no hot water. It seems the hot water heater had quit working and the repairman would not be able to fix it until later in the evening.
Of course, I was not good company for anyone down wind from me, so I did what any red-blooded farm boy would have done who had been raised during his early years without running water, I decided to take a cold shower. Now, it has been sometime since I have completed personal hygiene without hot water, but for one night I thought I could survive.
As I prepared to enter the shower, I turned the water on to give myself a running shot hoping for a glancing blow to dull the initial shock. The only problem was that it did not work to dull the initial shock. As the jet stream of cold water hit me in the small of the back, my life rushed before my eyes, (that was the near death experience I mentioned earlier), and my body became like a deer in headlights.
I couldn't move fast enough to keep the water from hitting me all over. All I remember is in the next few seconds I attempted to make my body smaller (which meant a miracle had to be performed) to avoid the piercing sting of the cold spray of water and tried to wad up into a small ball in the back of the tub. However, there was no escape and it sure was not a pretty site. My feet turned to ice cubes and strange things happened to the rest of my body that is just too horrible to mention in this paper. I nearly died!
I finished my shower, not because I wanted to, but after a day of hard work in the heat, everyone who came in contact with me would be glad I did. I held my breath a lot and made quick passes through the spray.
However, I did learn the importance of not taking things for granted, especially hot water. Yes, I agree that I am spoiled and there are people in foreign countries who have to take baths in cold water all of the time.
I'm sorry for that, but this fat boy likes his hot shower. There is not a tub large enough for me to chance another near death experience from being killed by cold water.