Appreciate your hot shower

May 3, 2010


It was brought to my attention a week ago just how for granted I take things like water, both potable and, as it applies here, hot.

I don???t ask for style from my person hygiene routine, only cleanliness. In February, I stopped combing and blow drying my hair after my daily shower because I discovered that as my hair gets ever longer, the absence of those two actions allows the natural curl to flourish. I did not stop taking the shower itself, though.

However, due to my own laziness and fiscal irresponsibility, I ignored paying my natural gas bill to the point where my service was cut off. Since it was the end of April (and now the first weekend in May), that wasn???t too much of a problem from the heat standpoint. But from the morning shower standpoint, it was nearly devastating.

The gas company doesn???t let you off easy. They freak you out. Their website says things like, ???Please allow two to five business days for your payment to be processed. After that, please allow five to ten business days for your service to be reconnected.???

It was on Thursday that I came home to find the disconnection noticed stuffed between my doors. It was too late to make a payment yet that day. I freaked out. I love my shower. I had plans to go out Friday night.

I have this Pavlovian routine with my hot water heater which is fueled by gas. At some time in the evening after about 8:00, I run the hot water for a minute or a few, until I hear the burner poof on. That way, I know I???ll have water as hot as I desire for my shower the following morning. When I don???t do that, the water is warm, but not satisfyingly hot hot.

So when I read the disconnection notice, I didn???t think about the dishes to do on the kitchen counter or the loads of laundry that I still haven???t done. No, my only thought was please let the water be lukewarm enough to be tolerable for a shower Friday morning.

It was. Barely. But enough. It was like when you were a kid and went to the swimming pool in August. The water had been sun-warmed all summer and it felt a little cool when you first jumped in, but after a few minutes you were used to it. Only difference was, I wasn???t out in the high summer sunshine.

I called the utility company to make payment arrangements and was thrilled to find out that the gas guy could come over Saturday morning to reconnect the gas and relight the pilot lights on my furnace and hot water heater. He said to give the water forty-five minutes to heat up.

I did, and it was my most enjoyable shower in some time.

April 27

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