Monday, January 10, 2011

In Hot Water! -Mrs. Sick of Spending

Months ago, our hot water heater seemed to be on it’s way out. Upon entering the shower, one would be doused with steamy streams of hot water that soon turned lukewarm, and quickly, cool. After fifteen minutes, one couldn’t complain, however, if the water turned lukewarm. Complaining seemed so First World; complaining seemed so Entitled, so anti-Simplicity. Fifteen minutes of hot-ish water seemed plenty and lavish, almost. So, we just let it be and quietly took our (quick) business shower. We got the job done and happily turned off the spittle.

As the weeks passed, we discovered (through the wails of our younger children entering the tub) our hot(ish) water was diminishing quickly to nil. I noticed the dishwasher was leaving a lacquer of uneaten meals. I noticed the clothes were more stiff from washing machine to dryer. I sent Mr. inBetween to the dungeon for inspection. The report? No more pilot light. Easy fix, you say. So did we. After weeks of lighting the pilot light no less than three times a day, followed by waiting for 30 minutes of “cooking”, we concluded our hot water heater was living on life support.

This is no big deal in our normal lives, we would visit the local HandyHouse Store and buy ourselves a new hot water heater. In a Year of Nothing New, we were dragging our feet. Count it romantic to live a simpler life. Call it stretching one’s comfort to empathize with those less fortunate. Whatever. Maybe we were waiting to do a “cash only” exchange, but something else happened.

We left town. For the weekend, that is. We had a wedding to attend and I drove, an hour away, knowing a warm shower awaited me there. We laughed, we cried, we celebrated life and community and enjoyed a beautiful weekend with warm connections and hot water. On our way home, in the FREEZING car, we talked of how we needed to “hurry up” and get that pilot light replaced. We could handle buying THAT new, it seemed, until we found a used water heater…

You know what happened? We drove up to our house. It was 11 p.m. We spotted a huge box on our front step. At first, it kind of startled me. What the heck was delivered to us THAT large? Mr. inBetween said almost immediately, “No way, it’s a new water heater.” While we were an hour away, warmly reveling in our family and our old community, our new one was at home reveling in warming us with a blessing, a gift.

I turned the faucet in the kitchen sink on early, early this morning to put away dishes from the previous night’s dinner and was warmed at the presence of steam in the sink. My daughter woke up to shower without having to wake dad to “stoke the fires” (and stayed in for a good 20 minutes!), and my dishwasher supplied me with sparkling clean dishes all before 9 a.m.

10 days and counting…still, Nothing New.

For more from Mrs. SickofSpending click here.


  1. Living for an entire summer in the Rocky Mountains and taking lukewarm showers, I've never taken hot water for granted since. Great job for sticking with your challenge! This is a good example of what community living is all about...taking care of each other! Thanks for sharing. Here's to staying warm! :)

  2. Thanks for sharing this blog link :) Congratulations on your warm water and 10 days going strong and not buying anything new. I'm doing the same with little resistance!