On a recent Saturday night, I discovered the main drain in our house was busted. There was water all over the basement floor. We tried that night and all the next day to fix it, with no luck. Not only was it busted, it was plugged.
Next step – call a plumber. Monday morning the plumber I called said they would get to us as soon as possible, but they had a lot of calls from people whose furnaces had quit working so it would be at least a day or two before they could take care of the drain. I said I understood – having heat when the temperatures are below zero certainly takes priority.
On Sunday, I made a “Porta-Potty” out of a 5-gallon plastic bucket and a plastic sack – the type to line wastebaskets. Since I had plenty of paper plates, dishes didn’t pose a problem. Cups, glasses, silverware, serving bowls, pots and pans could be washed by hand using my large stainless steel bowls – one for washing, one for rinsing.
A large cooking pot served well for washing our faces and hands. Once it was emptied, it could be used water needed to brush teeth and for cleaning up the kitchen counters and stove.
While going about making arrangements to get by until the drain could be fixed, my thoughts went back in time to when what we now consider a necessity was at one time nonexistent for many people.
Such as turning on a faucet to get water, having a bathroom in the house, being able to cover the floors in a house with carpets, owning dishwashers and automatic clothes washers, the luxury of a clothes dryer.
Then there are furnaces that use natural gas or propane. So much nicer than having to carry in coal and wood and then carrying out the ashes – not only for heating but also for cooking. And there’s a real plus in having a refrigerator instead of an ice box.
While I’m at, I’ll add electricity. It makes it possible to have lights, entertainment devices, computers, hair dryers, razors, mixers, blenders, and much more.
On the fourth morning of living with a busted drain, the plumber arrived and in an hour and a half the drain was unplugged and repaired. We were back in the “modern” world. Only a portion of our daily routine had needed to be adjusted.
Too often we take things for granted. When we get too complacent, Murphy’s Law has a way of bringing us up short.
Was daily life tough with a busted drain? Not really. It definitely was very inconvenient. It certainly reminded me to be thankful and much more appreciative for everything that makes life easier.