A couple of nights ago we were awoken by a horrendous noise, there was an almighty rattling noise and when you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, hearing an almighty rattling sound in the middle of the night will quickly bring you to your senses. The fact that we have recently been experiencing more seismic activity than is normal, has made us all extra sensitive to even the slightest rattles and vibrations.
Luckily that night it was only the water pump creating the racket, which my husband was able to turn off at the mains, so that we could all go back to sleep and he could deal with it at a more reasonable hour.
The next morning I crawled out of bed at my usual unearthly time of 6.00am and shuffled to the kitchen to put the kettle on for the most important cup of coffee of the day – the first one! I actually forgot about the water pump waking us up during the night as the water still just about flows from the taps without it being on and my brain really doesn’t function properly before that first shot of caffeine……I actually never drank coffee until I had children, I have no idea how I coped without it!
About an hour after I got up, the water that was trickling from the taps, started to splutter so badly that the water pipe rattled and shook. Then the water totally stopped flowing. I walked around the house checking for any signs of a burst pipe – not that I would have a clue of what signs to look for apart from an unexplained puddle of water, but as hubby dearest was still snoring loudly, it was the best I could do.
After not finding any puddles, it dawned on me that we had probably run out of water; we only get water from the mains for a few hours a day, so all the houses here have their own water tanks that fill up when the mains water is running.
I climbed up the steps to the rooftop where our water tank is situated, dressing gown flapping in the cold morning wind, I unscrewed the lid to our water tank and as I suspected it was empty! How? Why? We are so careful with the amount of water that we use that we very rarely run out, even during the summer months when we get less water piped in due to the amount of tourists holidaying on the island, so I was puzzled as to how we had managed to run out of water in the middle of winter?
Then a sense of doom hit me, washing clothes and dishes, showering, flushing the toilet, cleanliness in general all take water! What were we going to do? I had visions of the kitchen worktops being hidden from view by piles of dirty, food covered plates. People crossing the street to avoid our nasty body odour. Our clothes disintegrating on our bodies as they rotted and you really don’t want to know what visions I was having of the bathroom!
I slowly padded back down the steps, my brain trying to figure out how we had managed to run out of water and how on earth were we going to cope without it? One year we actually went three days without water as the mains pipe broke and the council trucks were overworked due to it being the height of the tourist season, it was awful and I didn’t relish the thought of managing without running water again!
Not having water got me thinking about all of those people in the world that have never had running water, all of the adults and children who have to walk miles everyday to fetch water for their families to drink, cook and wash with. It made me a tad ashamed of my initial reaction. It made me realize just how luck we really are, but are too wrapped up in our own lives to realize it.
Every now and again something happens that will make me stop and think about how lucky I am, and believe it or not I am grateful for those moments. I don’t want to be someone who is totally unaware of how lucky I am, I want to appreciate how lucky I am and I want my children to do the same.
Once my husband finally arose from his slumber, he soon found the source of the problem. Workmen who had been working next door had turned off the tap that connects our house and next door house to the mains and had forgotten to turn it back on when they had finished what they were doing. Luckily the mains water was flowing, so that once the tap was switched back on, water started flowing from the taps again and the water tank soon filled up.
The moral of this story is that we must learn to appreciate what we have, as there are plenty of people in this world who will never have what we have. So next time you are loading the washing machine, climbing into the car for the school run or even just washing your hands under running water from a tap, spare a thought for those people in the world less fortunate than ourselves.
What things make you stop and appreciate what you have?
Copyright © 2014 Debbie Roberts
© 2014 – 2015, Debbie. All rights reserved.