Moving to the desert has really helped me to understand what a precious resource water is. Conserving water was quite a change for the kids and I, after having lived in an area where wells were commonplace and water was abundant. The kids and I have had to change many of our habits, one of which is 5-minute-or-less showers. While water conservation is incredibly important, the water bill is even more so. Ironically, water is actually very cheap. It’s not that the water bill is expensive, it’s the calculation they base on the water bill to charge you for your sewer that gets you. And boy-howdy, if you’re not careful, it will put a serious dent in your bank account. So… 5 minute or less showers are required for the 5 people living in this household.
[Insert wistful memories of long showers where you could stand under the hot water for 5 minutes to wake up before beginning to actually shower… As well as memories of long, hot soaks in a bathtub filled to the brim… *sigh*]
Another change desert life has brought is the fact that during the summer you do NOT need hot water to take a hot shower. Most people turn their hot water heaters to the lowest setting, or even off. It simply is so hot that you don’t really need the water heated. Which means that showers are always taken with the knob turned all the way to cold. And on the 115° – 120° days you try to sneak the first shower so the water is as cool (warm rather than hot) as possible. There’s just something really gross about showering, and then sweating as you’re trying to dry off.
Having said that, we’re going to insert Joshua into this little desert life informational post. We told Joshua to take a shower the other night. We time the kids to make sure they stay under/at the 5 minute mark. I thought I heard him making noises while showering, but I wasn’t sure. After four minutes he comes out of the bathroom, with a towel wrapped around him, bawling like a four-year-old. I asked him what was wrong, and he said, “The water is freezing! It was taking forever to heat up and I had to take a cold shower!” The poor kid’s lips were even blue.
Mister and I felt badly and told him that we know that this time of the year we’re needing to actually use the warm water setting again and it takes a few minutes. We reminded him we would never count the minutes it took for the water to warm up for his shower, and he should have let us know what was happening instead of torturing himself with a cold shower. We also told him if it takes a long time again, to let us know.
Last night Joshua went in to take his shower. We started timing him as usual, and right around the four-minute mark Joshua turned off the water and came out to tell me that the water was still cold. We immediately knew something was wrong. It only takes a minute or two for the water to warm up in our shower, which is the furthest away from the water heater, while his bathroom is the closest to it. I went into Joshua’s bathroom with him while he was insisting that the water knob was turned all the way over to hot. Um… No, it wasn’t. It was all the way over to cold. He became so upset with me, insisting that it has always been over on “hot” [cold!] and he’s taken hot showers from it before. I reminded him about how hot the summer heat makes our water, and that we had ALL been taking hot “cold” showers until recently. The look on his face as that information went through his brain and clicked into place was PRICELESS. He started giggling, but then quickly became very annoyed when he realized that he had twice tortured himself with cold showers unnecessarily.
I went out to the living room shared with Mister what had happened. While we certainly don’t like wasting water, nor do we like the kids having to torture themselves with cold showers, we did sit there laughing for quite a while about Joshua’s unfortunate mistake. I mean, hey, why would anyone try turning the knob the other way when you could stand under a cold shower for 5 minutes?!
Enjoying hot showers while living my dash,