Just before she left, my friend used the facilities once more and remarked that there was still no water. Puzzled now, and since several hours had passed, I went to the kitchen to see if the faucet would turn on in there. Nothing.
Of course, the not-very-funny joke was on me. Our water had been turned off by the water company that very afternoon. It seems I had paid them the wrong amount (oops), and their subsequent warning went unnoticed because we had been on vacation. The post office was still holding our mail, and we hadn't found time to pick it up yet. Simply put, our goose was cooked. We had no water; the water company was closed until the next day, and we were going to spend the next 24 hours waiting for relief.
In light of water shortages in third world countries, I'm almost ashamed to say how sorry for ourselves Dave and I were. We had to flush the toilet with buckets of water from the pool; we couldn't bathe or shower, wash our hands, or brush our teeth. My hair was dirty...and so was my laundry, to say nothing of the breakfast and lunch dishes. Suddenly, water held new value for us. We saw it for what it really was...precious and desirable beyond all else. In fact, both of us agreed that we would far rather have lost gas and electrical power than what we now understood was the most prized commodity of all: Water. It was liquid gold, and we could hardly wait to have it at our fingertips once more.
At first I thought it was merely ironic that we lost our water at the same time my friend (Caroline) at Salsa Pie was involving herself in water.org's efforts to raise money for water in Haiti, but on second thought I realized coincidence is highly over-rated in life. I decided my brief experience with waterless living was a providential push for me to join the crusade for water myself. And so I did.
Are you aware that donating just $25 will provide one person with water for his or her entire lifetime? In other words, I give up one dinner at Appleby's and someone across the world never goes thirsty again. I sacrifice a date night to the movies with my husband and another parent's child survives to adulthood and beyond. I turn down my air conditioning a point or two this month and a brand new baby has all the breast milk she needs from a mother who is no longer too dehydrated to produce an adequate supply. What on earth would keep me from doing this? When my sacrifice is so negligible and the rewards are so great, why would I not jump on board this effort and save some lives?
If your heart answers this question the same way mine does, please visit Caroline's blog, tell her I sent you, and make a donation. It isn't every day we have a chance to save another person's life. And maybe, by doing so, we can even save our own.