No water! Not a drop for two days.

The sink is full of dirty dishes, drinking water is coming from melted ice cubes (thankfully a good supply in the freezer), the counter has honey all over it from refilling a honey bear. When I made dinner last night, I became aware of how many times I run my hands under water as I’m preparing food. No showers—or hand washing—orĀ  laundry. The toilet is marginal, kept nearly under control by gray water in a barrel outside. We can pour a bucketful down the hopper occasionally.

During the storm last Friday, we heard a crash and thought that lightning had struck nearby but we couldn’t find any damage. Friday evening we realized that we were only getting a trickle of water from the taps and by Saturday morning, no water. We were unable to reach the repair people until this morning. As I write, they are replacing a pump in the well.

Other countries seem to be much more willing to conserve. I’ve noticed that guests visiting us from Japan and Europe turn the shower on to get wet and then turn it off again while they soap and shampoo, then turn it on again for a fast rinse. I’m guilty of standing under a hot shower long after I could have turned it off. I’m remindedĀ of a visit to Australia a few years ago. I stayed in nine different homes over the course of six weeks. In every one, a bucket in the shower collected water for the gardens. Dirty dishes were collected in a pan all day and washed together at the end of the day.

In hotels there is nearly always a sign in the bathroom talking about water usage and asking that guests hang their towels if they will reuse them. We hang them and almost always, they are replaced by fresh towels.

Ipswich has a water ban in place, as do many nearby communities. Most of us read about water shortages and agree with conservation measures but don’t necessarily follow them closely. Our weekend experience has made me much more aware of how much I take water for granted. I’m determined to do better.