Earlier this month our bathtub faucet began leaking, an incessant drip that was annoying and wasteful and in dire need of attention. After a few weeks of the dripping, my husband decided to take matters into his own hands. With the guidance of a YouTube video he took apart the faucet to find out the source of the leak.
With our water turned off, and the only full bathroom in the house a construction zone, my husband was on a time crunch to get things fixed before bedtime. The only problem was that the issue was more than my handy husband could handle. The cartridge behind the faucet, which should be simple to pop out, was rotted and broken. He tried every DIY trick in the book (or rather, on the internet), but nothing would loosen the rotted and broken cartridge stuck deep into the pipes.
This wasn’t a job for just anyone, but unfortunately it was past our kids’ bedtime, and the problem would have to wait until the morning. We went to bed without any running water, and woke up with our torn apart bathroom as a reminder that we couldn’t use the washroom, wash our dishes, clean our hands, or do anything that required water.
After getting our oldest kids to school my husband and I settled in to wait for our plumber to arrive in the late morning. Before long we were both complaining about needing to use the bathroom, which would lead to us needing to wash our hands, and we already were thirsty and running low on our water jug.
Already we had received kind texts from friends and family, offering to allow us to come over and shower and make use of their home. But time was ticking and we didn’t have time to drive across the city and get back in time for the plumber. Luckily, we have a wonderful neighbourhood, and good friends nearby. I walked over to our friends’ home, a short 30-second walk away, and filled up a bucket of water so that we could use the washrooms. We trekked over a few times, filling our buckets and flushing, who knew using the bathroom would be such a workout?
Our friend offered to let us shower, or use her home as we pleased. I really wanted to brush my teeth, so I spent a few minutes freshening up in her bathroom, enjoying the luxury of running water, lathering my hands in luxurious soap and washing them for the first time in 12 hours. I filled up some water jugs to put in the fridge, so we would have fresh drinking water, and also filled up my kettle for a late morning tea. All simple things that I would never even think twice of, now required some thought and planning, and a trip across the street to our neighbours.
As I work on my column, we are still waiting for our plumber to arrive, and wondering how much longer we will have to live without running water for. Having kind neighbours and friends who offer their home, their water, and their support has opened our eyes to the joy of being near loving and kind people. It’s made us realize how privileged we are to not have to worry about accessing water each day – it’s as simple as turning on a tap, and going about our day.
I’m eager for the joyous moment when our bathroom is fixed, and we can go about our day, but this little adventure has certainly given us a bit of perspective on the simple things in life. If it opens our eyes and makes us a bit more grateful. I’d say it was a worthwhile blip in our week.