To Hell with the Elephants – Water for Humans on a frenzied friday morning…

by Debra Chappell

View from the kitchen counter:

photo copy 4

Mood Reading:  ½ Z  (Didn’t sleep much, spent all night waiting for alarm to go off at ungodly hour.  Needless to say, ‘crabby’ is the mood reading this morning.)

4:45 am is not my favorite hour under the best of circumstances.  But that is the hour I had to drag my derriere out of bed this morning to catch an early morning flight to Albuquerque for the National Indoor Track and Field Championships. 

I spent the better part of the evening last night (and I do mean better) getting myself organized, meticulously going over my check list so I wouldn’t arrive in NM missing an essential part of my daily repertoire. (God forbid I forget the moisturizer or worse,  my curling iron.)   So I ironed, photopacked, re-arranged, and packed some more, finally satisfied I’d covered every single possible wardrobe and cosmetic contingency. With an eye to the early hour of departure and the usually packed security line, I laid out my clothes with the precision of a novice parachutist. The travel ensemble chosen was the easiest to put on, strip off, and put back on again with minimum effort in full view of my fellow travelers, including the only pair of hole-less knee hi’s I own that took almost an hour of rummaging through the sock drawer to find. I went to bed feeling rather pleased about my forethought and organized efficiency.

Alas, that supreme smugness was shot all to hell a little after 5:00am this morning, just after I turned on the tap to run the bathwater.

While the water was running, I made the bed and wandered out into the kitchen to switch the imageskettle on for a cup of tea.  When I returned, expecting to find my hot steamy bath ready and waiting, what I found instead amounted to a luke warm puddle with only a piddly little stream draining from the faucet.  “ACK!!” and “WTF???” I believe were the first words that escaped my mouth. The hubby who was still pottering around the kitchen in his own sleepy stupor came running, then returned to the kitchen to try the faucet there…with no better result.  Stricken, we both raced into the garage where the pressurized well tank is located.  The gauge showed empty – nada, zip, nothing.  No pressure, no water, no hot bath.  Usually this only happens at the height of the summer season, after a full morning of watering, 3 loads of laundry, a pots and pans cycle or two on the dishwasher, and a leisurely mid-morning shower.

My first thought was to keep my raising panic at bay.  “Okay,” I said sternly to myself, “there’s at least a few inches in the tub to freshen up with” and I reasoned I could spritz my hair with a bunch of that Scrunch product that’s been in my bathroom cabinet since the late ‘80’s, and might be able to forego the less than attractive baseball cap.

But whatever slight relief that provided was quickly replaced by the sudden, sinking and heavy realization that descended on my shoulders all at once.  I alone was responsible for this dawn debacle.  While the pair of us debated about it’s cause, it dawned on me that I had been out looking for the wayward dog the morning before and had happened by the hose pipe and a couple of thirsty looking pine trees at the edge of our driveway. Without thinking much, I turned on the tap to give them a drink and left it babbling while I roamed the neighborhood for the mutt and well, then I vacuumed out my car, and then emptied the trash, and then deposited letters in the mailbox at the end of the driveway, and then came in and made some tea, and then sat down to scour the headlines, and then….

photo copy 3Fortunately for me, time didn’t allow for the normal castigations that would have normally accompanied the “you did what?” conversation and would have been most certainly deserved. I sheepishly offered my mea culpa and was most thankful for the peace offering tendered in the form of a bowl of hot oatmeal.

We pulled out of the driveway in the early light of dawn with the night-before moon still in the sky, and managed to make it to the airport on time.

I can only hope the remainder of the weekend goes a bit smoother.  At least we will have hot and cold running water.