Cold takes running water away

Published 7:27 pm Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I was unable to take a shower for five straight days last week.

In those five days, I was also unable to use the restroom, wash dishes and make a hot cup of coffee.

I was without water for five days because I lost a battle with an arctic beast — 10-degree weather.

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Despite diligently running a sprinkle of water from every faucet in my house, my pipes froze and burst Wednesday night after several days of frigid weather.

I returned home from work on Wednesday to find a small pond forming underneath my house as water spewed from a broken pipe.

After running around the exterior of my house like a madman, I finally found the water main and turned it off. Then I came to a realization — I was without water.

Luckily, the spigot outside of my house still worked, so I wasn’t totally helpless.

Instead of taking a shower or bath, I was forced to devise a different way to prevent my stench from reaching a frightening level. Each morning, I grabbed three of the largest pots in my house, walked to the spigot and filled them to the brim with water. After lathering up with soap, I dumped the pots of water over my head and dried off.

The first day I tried my new shower technique without warming the water. Seconds after turning the pot over, I realized I had made a mistake — the water was frigid and so was I.

The following day I was clever about my approach to cleanliness. I placed the pots of water on the stove for a few minutes. The warm water was less refreshing, but also prevented me from shivering at light speed.

As for using the bathroom, I simply had to hold it until I left the house or go somewhere before I came home for the evening. It was a difficult task, much more so than dumping water on my head.

Being unable to wash dishes was hardly a problem. I rarely enjoy cleaning, so being prevented from washing the dishes was rather enjoyable. I had a lot more time to be lazy. I even learned a lesson in organization as I had to fit huge plates in the remaining sink space.

Coffee wasn’t too much of a struggle either. Instead of making coffee at home, I was forced to purchase it or wait until I arrived at work. Admittedly, I could have abstained from drinking coffee altogether, but I can hardly form a coherent sentence in the morning without it.

Luckily, my water pipes were repaired on Tuesday. I still enjoy not doing the dishes, but being able to use the bathroom in my house and take warm showers is quite nice.

I’m surely not the only one in Dallas County that dealt with broken water pipes, as many plumbing companies reported dozens more service calls than usual. One plumber even told me that he had received more calls in three days than he had in three months.

It was a nice boost in business, but waiting until water pipes are fixed and living without running water in your house is a difficult situation to deal with. It’s one that I hope to never encounter again.