Weekend Reads #70: Water, Hot Water

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

Once again I’ve turned to Sara Letourneau’s blog for inspiration. In a recent Thursday Thoughtfulness post, she asked:

What was the last object you were grateful for, no matter how small, mundane, or insignificant it might seem? How would life be different if you didn’t have this object, or if it didn’t exist at all? How easy do you think it is for us to take everyday items or occurrences for granted? Finally, how often do you remember to view situations in a pragmatic way (i.e., to look at the good as well as the bad)?

Considering the current situation of my household, I decided to answer these questions. A week ago, the water heater broke and my basement was flooded. Though we called our insurance peeps and they sent a plumber to inspect our pipes and see what’s wrong, we’ve yet to receive a follow up and have our heater fixed or replaced. We’re unable to prevent water from entering the heater tank, so it keeps overflowing if we don’t keep an eye on it and empty it when we think it’s full. Because of that, my family and I are using water out of buckets. Washing dishes out of buckets. Brushing our teeth using water we caught and stored in bottles. Bathing out of buckets and pans.

It’s something we did when we lived in Jamaica because there were times when we didn’t have water and would have to use water we had caught and stored. However, we’ve gotten used to the convenience of accessible water and, more importantly, hot water.

Prior to this, I wasn’t aware of how much I use water throughout my day and how much I treasure hot water (good thing it’s not winter). Running the tap for a trifle thing was done without much thought except to get whatever activity I wanted done. But lack of access made us more conscious about what we use water for and when we should use it. Still, I miss the ease. Last week when I was overcome with sinus and allergy symptoms, a couple minutes in a hot water shower would’ve helped to alleviate my stuffy nose and other sinus symptoms. I also missed the steamy baths I would take after a stressful day or the simple use of warm water to wash the dishes. Slowly I began to realize that hot water is a luxury and easy access to water a privilege.

Now we have to time when we’ll turn on the water so that it doesn’t fill the water heater tank (water still goes in there though we turned off the hot water thing), which is an inconvenience since we have to plan when to take baths and regulate the flushing of toilets, and quickly wash the dishes during that time in icy cold water, which makes my fingers go numb when my hands are in it for too long. We have to use gloves.

Convenience makes it easy for us to take things for granted. For years after moving to the states from Jamaica, my family would store couple large bottles of water, just in case. We were used to water being shut off unexpectedly back home and having to make do with what we stored. But gradually, we got used to water always being accessible and no longer bothered to store water, or even to have pans and buckets (we only have a few now).

Because of this incident, my mom has mentioned storing a couple large bottles of water again. Because you never know. But I’m sure that we will get complacent again and forget. Ease and convenience eliminates the need for worry and fear. Once we’re able to run our pipes without worry of a flood and relax into a hot water bath, we’ll forget all about storing water and buying more pans until the next flood and douse in cold water.


As for the last question, I don’t consider myself a pragmatic person because I’m too concerned with what could be rather than what is. In some situations I can be pragmatic, usually when I’m anxious about something, which I guess is good. I become pragmatic when faced with problems that quickly need to be solved. But otherwise, I dream and dream and sometimes when hardship extends over a long period of time, I’ll get a bit depressed because I’m too caught up in what I want things to be rather than what is. Eventually, I get frustrated and look at what is and what can be done to get to what I think should be.


What I’m reading this weekend:

I was tempted to start one of the books on my Bout of Books TBR, but I decided to be good and wait until Monday, when the readathon starts.

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

I’m still on this one because it’s too long and boring. Actually, I was very interested in it at first, but when Eragon got to Ellesmera, I began to get bored. I’m almost done, though, and can’t wait to finally reach the end.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, illus. by Jim Kay

I’m slowly progressing through this because I’m reading it aloud: two or three chapters per day. I appreciate the illustrations, but I prefer the illustrations of buildings and creatures rather than humans. Also, I no longer want to buy it since there are some pages with no illustrations on them. I’m nitpicking, of course, because I need a reason not to get it. So far reading aloud is trying. My eyes move way faster than my mouth; or rather, my eyes are too impatient to wait for my nerves/synapses to translate the word I see on the page to my brain to cause my mouth to emit the sound for that word (if that’s how it works). So I stumble a lot.

Himself by Jess Kidd

I saw a review of this debut novel on BookPage and decided to give it a go. It sounds like something I would like — the BookPage review says its “spun like a fairy tale and paced like a mystery told around a slowly fading campfire” — and the prologue sucked me in, but so far I’m meh. I’m a little confused. Guess I’ll have to continue and see what happens. I’m also tempted to start over.

Well, that’s it. What are you reading and what everyday object do you take for granted?

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17 thoughts on “Weekend Reads #70: Water, Hot Water

  1. ugh this sucks- I’ve had something similar happen before- I hope it gets all fixed for you soon!! haha I think I’m the opposite though- pragmatic in principle rather than in practice 😉 While it’s fun to come up with a pragmatic theoretical argument, it’s quite another thing to be pragmatic when doing something everyday 😉 (that might just be me being scatty though 😉 )

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  2. Well, I’m glad that the Harold Kushner quote inspired you to write a post in response. But gosh, that’s awful that you and your family have had to deal with water heater issues at home. I hope that gets resolved soon so you can return to some sense of normalcy. And you’re right in that hot water and general access to water is a privilege, and that convenience makes it easy for us to take such things for granted, especially when other people in the world don’t have access to water every day.

    My choice of everyday object is not so essential, but I’d say my wooden lateral filing cabinet at home and my new shredder. I have a bad habit of forgetting to shred old documents or getting rid of things I don’t need anymore. That would explain why the cabinet’s bottom drawer (which is made of veneer instead of real wood) collapsed two weeks ago. :S So a new one is on its way, and in the meantime I’m going through my filing and shredding all the papers I don’t need anymore. It stinks to have to go through it, but it will be nice when it’s overwith and the drawers in the new cabinet are lighter and much less cluttered because of all the culling I’m doing now.

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    • I need to do some shredding too. I often try to shred things I won’t need as soon as I realize I won’t need them, but I’m such a procrastinator that I keep putting it off and things keep piling up.

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  3. Maan, sorry to hear about this water problem. I actually had the same issue–no more hot water–but it only lasted a day each time (trice so far). It was crazy to realize how convenient hot water was, and how it made life so much more easier and “enjoyable”. We boiled the cold water we were getting to be able to do whatever we needed to do with hot water. I hope this issue of yours gets fixed soon, if not already. It’s definitely not a pleasant one.

    How many time have you read/listened to the HP books now?! I have yet to even start my first run through the books (I’ve only seen the movies and I still got the whole book set waiting after me.. for a couple years now). :O

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    • We had to boil water too but, ugh, it was such an inconvenience to keep doing so. But it’s fixed now so I’m happy, though the water is too hot sometimes. #neversatisfied 😦
      I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read the books. Too many times is the answer, lol. I kinda envy you. I’d like to read it again for the first time.
      I like seeing and reading people’s reaction to reading the books for the first time, so I’ll look out if you do a review.
      …and if you want to buddy-read them, lemme know. 🙂

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  4. My heart goes out to you with your water problems. We can do without a lot of modernday conveniences, even though our lives would be poorer without them – but NOT without water. And having to think and worry every time you turn on a tap is a pain. I hope you get a major rebate from your insurance payments once the problem is solved – this wait is a disgrace! In the meantime, have a great reading week, Zezee.

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  5. Actually, now that you mention it,
    It’s been ages since I’ve said to the teaspoon how much harder life would be without it!
    Actually,
    i feel a little guilty sometimes making coffee with it,
    Or eating couscous & spicy eggplant salad with it,

    But yeah,
    Making tea with a knife sucks, so i
    Should probably do the dishes.

    Don’t you have an electric kettle in your kitchen?
    Heard somewhere that not many in the us do?
    That’s what i use to fill my sink in the bus, it’s small gas water heater is pretty slow, so hot water from the fire in winter and the jug is my everyday(well)Sorta,
    Which reminds me, when is someone going to invent self cleaning dishes, clothes, houses,
    That would be great .

    I need to light a fire underneath my bath to heat it and put up an umbrella when it rains, so it’s trouble free pretty much 😏
    And my water comes from a waterfall about 600m away and up.
    Only about once or twice a year i need to fix or clean filters.

    Electricity is probably the most taken for granted, life sure gets hard without that, and the internet of course, that wouldn’t be much fun either 😕

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    • No electric kettles for us. We do have a kettle though and pots so we warm water to take a bath.
      I can’t help trying to imagine having to light a fire under my bath while putting up an umbrella cause it’s raining. Maybe you should warm the water in the kettle, unless the kettle is a small one. I think electric ones are usually small.
      And I agree about electricity. I’ve lived without it before and was annoyed by the inconvenience and that was before I got hooked on the internet and all that.

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      • Oh yeah man, it only takes half an hour to heat (in summer)
        And it’s so good soaking and looking at the stars and mountains, quite a skill in getting the water temperature perfect and just a nice glow from the embers left, that way i can put some food under the bath to cook, now that’s multitasking aye!

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      • Oh yeah man, it only takes half an hour to heat (in summer)
        And it’s so good soaking and looking at the stars and mountains, quite a skill in getting the water temperature perfect and just a nice glow from the embers left, that way i can put some food under the bath to cook, now that’s multitasking aye!

        I think my bath would take about a day to fill with the kettle and i think it’s a normal sized one, with a glass body so you can see the bubbles 😁

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