Due to a major water main break, we spent the last few days without drinkable tap water. Until the "boil water" order went into effect, I had never really thought about how often I use tap water. A quick drink, wetting a paper towel to wipe a messy face after a meal, washing my hands, rinsing a toothbrush, running the dishwasher, all these things and more were off limits for 3 days. In fact, it was so automatic for the boys and I to just reach for the tap that I had to wrap a towel around the faucet handles to remind us to stop!
The novelty made it somewhat fun. As I washed and rinsed pots and pans in a basin full of previously boiled water, I felt like a pioneer woman. Yes, the paper plates, plastic utensils, and bottled water for drinking (and coffee making!) ruined the illusion a bit.
I got a glimpse of human nature in a local CVS when bottled water sold out right in front of me. Some people walked out with 16 cases just for themselves, smirking at others who got turned away. I had only wanted to pick up a couple of gallon jugs that I could use and then refill because I didn't have any pitchers to store boiled water in, but I got concerned when I saw the shortage and surrounding hysteria. Everyone was saying that this would last for a week or more. So I grabbed up a couple of cases too. I couldn't even have bought a gallon jug if I wanted to, since the shelves were completely bare. I felt guilty buying into the "every man for himself" philosophy, but still took what I thought would be enough for us if the shortage went on for more than a week. And remained grateful that at least we could boil water. After all, the bottled water was just more convenient. It wasn't necessary. I can't even imagine what the scene would have been like if we had no water at all.
This situation certainly opened my eyes to what I have always taken for granted--having potable water whenever I want it. I also never realized just how much I use water every day! We did drink a lot of tap water before we heard about the order. Here's hoping we stay healthy! I'll raise a glass of water to that!