We are now about halfway through our cold-water month. It's easy to complain about what a pain it is to heat water every time I have to do the dishes or wash my hair, or how time-consuming it is to boil pots of water on the stove to pour into the bathtub one by one for the kids' weekly bath (yes, once a week is enough this month). But honestly, this month makes me appreciate access to hot water for the other 11 months of the year. Especially considering that most villages in Kyrgyzstan never have hot water, I feel incredibly spoiled to be able to (usually) simply turn on the faucet and choose my desired temperature at will.
Not so very long ago, everyone lived without instant access to hot water. Laura Ingalls Wilder's books chronicle the days of taking baths in a barrel by the fireplace, one family member after the other, until the last person got the dirtiest and coldest water. (That was me on Saturday!) Though I still grumble about the dishes, I am secretly a little bit glad to have this connection with the past - in fact, with large numbers of people on the planet today. To be forced to do without this one luxury is good for us. For one thing, it makes us conscientious about using only as much as we really need. Our lives are so packed with things we take for granted, machines with the express purpose of making tasks easier and quicker. I can just picture an older generation smiling knowingly and shaking their heads, amused that we think simply giving up hot water is such a sacrifice.
All the same, I'm glad it's not permanent.