~Bliss is in the Details~

Last February I found my bliss in something simple and basic: hot water. This is a retread of that post—since it only received a couple of visits as I had not yet found my blogging community of friends.

Water drop

Water drop (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Here is the February 2013 version of an event that happened in February 2012:

If you don’t believe that it is the simple things in life that make life grand, then you have not been without hot water for five days. A week ago, our water heater decided it had had enough and emptied its warm watery contents all over the floor of our basement. Lovely.  After rescuing all manner of flotsam and throwing away some jetsam, I used the shop vac to clean up the water. Then I went online and watched a video that advised what you should do when your water heater dies and emits its contents willy nilly all over the floor. First if it is a gas heater, which is what we have, you should turn off the gas (light bulb moment) then turn off the water that goes into the tank (second light bulb moment).

Okey, dokey,…………

A quick and rather frantic call to my husband at work brought him home to turn off the gas and the water, since I did not want to blow up the house by turning something the wrong way. We called the water heater people who told us they would be there between 1:00 and 6:00, which sounds like quite a leeway, but as I had spent two summers working at Bell Canada while I was a university student, I knew that this was not bad timing. At Bell we expected people to take the whole week off to wait for us (I am just kidding).

red carpet

red carpet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had the red carpet laid out for the water heater fellow, and after leaving him in the basement to assess the situation I turned to go upstairs and told him to call me if he needed anything. I had not made it to the top of the stairs when he called me back down. Apparently new rules and regulations called for our chimney to have a lining before he could install a new water heater. The rules apparently came into effect about twelve years ago–our water heater was more than twenty years old. The new rules safeguard against carbon monoxide, so there was no getting around them.

So……….we had to have a chimney liner put in. It was late Saturday afternoon. Sunday, of course was a no go, and Monday was Family Day (in Ontario).  Tuesday, the guys came to put in the liner, but it was too big, so we had to wait until Wednesday to have the work done with the right size liner. In the meantime we got two big pots out and boiled water on the top of the stove, and got our kettle going every time a bath was to be had. Just so you know, if you want more than a tepid bath, it takes about 6 large pots of boiling water and three kettles full. And then it is only a little more than warm.

I decided that I did not really need to wash my hair as I had no big important meetings or lunches or dinners to go to—so I swept my hair up in a ponytail and got quite good at sponge baths. Must admit, I had a pretty good excuse to do as little laundry as possible (yes, I know there are cold water laundry detergents, but that is not the point). Doing dishes was another hurdle, but a few kettles of boiling water pretty well took care of them.

Water heater sm

Water heater sm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday night the water heater fellow showed up at around 6:30 and put in our brand new water heater. He was exceptionally nice, and when I told him to call me if he needed anything—he did not call me. Which was a good thing.  The five day saga had ended. Now we had a new liner in our chimney, a new water heater, hot water, and no carbon monoxide poisoning. What more could one ask for?

Hot water is a lovely thing. A glorious thing. Something we so take for granted. Now in my prayers before I go to sleep at night I “God bless” all my family and friends and my new water heater. No joke.

Have you ever found your bliss in something everyday that was taken away from you?

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  1. Last summer at the cottage, our electricity was out for most of the afternoon and early evening, normally that wouldn’t be a big deal, however I had family and friends coming over for dinner and much preparation was yet to be done. Ok, so I figured out how to cook everything on the BBQ, and tried to limit opening of the fridge….not easy. But all in all it went ok. Of course now we have a generator just in case the outage is longer next time.

    • I know–we take things so for granted and when they are not there we have to rethink–glad you will not have a repeat, but I bet you had good food and a good time anyway

  2. We have had that same experience with water heaters a couple of time but were never without for 5 days!! Yikes! I think there are many things we take for granted until we lose them :).

    • There are aren’t there? I hate that water heaters flood the basement before you know there is something wrong–there are probably other indications, but I do not know what they are

  3. We had a similar experience a few years ago. Hot water is truly a luxury when you don’t have it for awhile.

  4. Hot water is not a minor detail. If that happened to us, I would check into a hotel and eat out!

    • I like that pioneer spirit – if I could have afforded it I would have done that too

      • Or, you could have moved in with me.

      • next time – thanks for the generous offer! you are such a good girl

      • I am very serious when it comes to hot water.

      • speaking from experience: and you should be

  5. I know I should answer your question, but I’m distracted by your water heater saga, and I’m comforted to know I’m not the only one to go through said saga. Phooey on old hot water heaters and new regulations that cause you to spend 3X as much as you would have. But now I own a natural gas/carbon monoxide detector thingy, and I guess that does lead to more blissful sleeping.

  6. Well LouAnn I’ve had that same experience ‘cept my water heater is in the kitchen pantry…yup, umpteen gallons on the floor. AND no bull 27 days past the warranty, planned obsolescence at its finest. I’ve also lived off grid w/out running water elect. while cloth diapering a babe no less, ah, youth!
    At this age I’m with you…there is nothing more blissful than walking up to a tap and releasing HOT water….simple pleasures indeed. Here’s hoping we both have water heater longevity.
    *anna

    • yes, we are pioneers no longer – though hot water in this day and age is not much to ask
      -so sorry it happened in your kitchen – I think I would have gone ever so slightly mad (I have not far to go)

      • ;)
        twas a short trip for moi as well…although the time in lala land was brief….

      • was it nice?

  7. oh my yes, mad is a wonderfully wooly place, tho I dare not try to dwell there too long ;)

    • maybe I will drop in for awhile – soon, I may have no choice

      • choice shcmoice….visit for a few minutes then c’mon back real quick or I’ll miss ya xo

      • it is a deal

  8. Id miss hot water too. When we are at the cottage we have to heat water for dishes, etc, but since we are usually only there in the summer the whole bathing thing isnt an issue – we just jump in the lake.

    I do remember having to heat water for baths at grandma’s house when I was growing up. Though I was small and someone else was doing all of the work back then. :)

    • It is nice to be small and have the hard work done for you — that makes for pleasant memories
      cottage life is a little different unless you are going there in mid-Feb

  9. Electricity in the middle of winter. One winter our power went out in our home, but it was only our home. After much searching we realized it was outside at the box. Great, called the electric company and they informed us that since we were renting the land they needed the landlords permission to fix it. We had no heat during this period and it took days to get through the run around. The landlord called, and called, and called, but they kept losing his permission to work on the box. It took several days before heat was restored and the kerosene heater could be packed away for periodic use. Never had a been so afraid of heating a home before. I kept picturing a fire from the kerosene heater while we slept.

    • that does not seem to make sense that they could not fix it without the landlord’s permission–what an awful time to go through

      • It was definitely a pain, we slept in the living room where the heater was as well because the bedrooms had gotten too cold. In some ways it was nice sharing a room with my two boys who felt they were too old to climb in bed with me, but I was so thankful for the restored heat when needing the bathroom if no other time.

      • a cold bathroom is an insult to the senses — I guess moms will use any excuse to be close to their kids who think they are too grown up to cuddle

  10. This will sound dumb, but even being without the Internet for a few days here at home was kind of shocking. The internet is really great. It’s just a really great tool.

    • I so agree with you -especially because I use it for work–but it is also the way I stay connected

  11. My hot water tank blew while I was in the shower…I heard funny noises in the closet nearby. I dripped my way to the closet, opened the door to hisses and walls showered in black stuff. I saw a big red lever and cranked it. Then I got on the internet to see what else I needed to do – shut off the electricity to the w.heater.

    Then I began calling plumbers. It was Sat a.m. None would answer their phone even if each ring bore electric shock to their bottoms! I had to wait until the middle of next week. It’s a pain, but it’s easier than being without power which means not even having cold water access.

    Since I live on an island and we are supplied with lake water, there’s a fine silt that gathers in the bottom of the tanks. So I now drain mine annually. Which reminds me…it’s time!

    • it is a pain – thankfully we do not need electricity for our water though–that would be doubly awful

  12. Yes, indeedy. Bliss is hot water and the more the merrier. Currentlhy I am without a washer for about the 5ht time. A samsung front loader that I put a 4 year warranty on- thank God. Sears will arrive between 8am and 5pm. I must wait all day for fear the call will come when I have gone to the grocey store and no “they” do not bother to give you an hour before “they” arrive kind of call even though that is what Sears says will happen.

    • you have to be so careful when you have an appointment not to miss it or you will be out of luck–just try getting another appointment

  13. Well …a couple of weeks ago we had NO water for two days…We moved as you likely know in Oct. to a Mobile Home…our choice instead of an apt. but it comes with challenges…It turned out our pipes froze underneath because only half of them were wrapped with heat tape and areas with little insulation…So we had a water cooler for drinking…water from the laundromat for flushing…and our dishes ..well they piled up, and we too became good at washing instead of showers or baths….I think we in the western world…don’t appreciate things like water,heat and shelter nearly enough….Diane

  14. Recently lived without a toilet in our flat for 3.5 days. Now I feel like a whole new woman who can flush the loo. And not run down the street in desperation to the pub. That’s always embarrassing.

    • that is much worse than having no hot water!

      • I guess so, but I do like a hot shower. Can’t do that at any of the pubs–at least not the ones I’ve been to.

      • no,that might be a litte hard – ha ha

  15. Our dishwasher broke a week ago…..bliss will be when we actually find out when they’re gonna fix it.

    • I use my dishwasher for storage–it has been broken for years–but then again, my family is not the size of your family–if I were you I would be pulling my hair out

      • Yeah it’s more of how big our family is!!!! Although I will say Lane has not complained once about doing dishes by hand and has even said he likes it better because the dishes are cleaner….pretty impressive for a 10 year old boy!

      • hey, this is a good boy – send him over to my house

      • He is an awesome boy!!!!

  16. When we were first married our pipes would freeze in the mobile home we lived in..oh yea water and hot baths never thought I would have to do without something so basic. And yes after getting our water back it was always a feeling of bliss! Patty

  17. Oh, this is funny! And I’ve had a very similar experience, although I didn’t have to have a chimney liner put in. About a week after we bought our historic home (built in 1920, thank you!) the hot water heater in the basement did just what you describe…there was suddenly water on the floor, where there had been none before. My husband was already less than a fan of buying this old place, while I thought it was charming. Well, I should clarify, the hot water heater was not as old as the house. But it didn’t do me any favors by dying so quickly after our purchase. And like you, our cure was a replacement. Unlike you, I got it the same day the old one died. Good timing on the part of the appliance death…certainly had nothing to do with me! ~ Sheila

    • yes, our experience was one of bad coincidences–never have an appliance die on a holiday weekend

  18. Sometimes we take things for granted & don’t realize the simple things until we don’t have access to them.
    I once had a cold shower for lack of hot water. Brrr…
    It was the fastest shower I;ve ever taken in my life!

  19. hot water for me too. a flood in the basement took out the furnace which heats the hot water. the repairman had never worked on that type of furnace and i found him with a manual crying on the floor. 10 days, no heat, no hot water. it wasn’t the heat i missed so much it was the hot water. i don’t think i ever realized how luxurious it could feel to stick you hands in a sink full of warm soapy water.

    • now we both know the luxury of hot water–that repairman might want to find another vocation


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