Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


February 3, 2014

Fate takes over

ASHLAND — The plan was in place. Last Saturday was my day to clean, organize and, in general, get my house back in order. And the plan would have been perfect except for one tiny thing: There was no water when I got up.

Sound familiar? I’ll bet it does to a lot of you.

We’ve gone back and forth from no water to extremely low pressure to just enough pressure to take a bath over the last week or so. Because of the cold temperatures, I’ve let the taps drip a little to keep the pipes from freezing.

The cats were thrilled that I’d installed drip waterers for them and quite irate when nothing came out on Saturday. I tried to explain the situation, but you know cats. They want what they want and refuse to listen.

I found a half-full bottle of water in the car, which was enough to pretty much fill their bowl. As the day wore on and the faucets stayed non-running, I decided I’d had enough of this no water thing.

Gathering up Grandgirl II and all the bottles we could find, we set out on a water run. Our first stop was at the city distribution center, where we scored a case of bottled water for her house and another one for mine.

We were heading toward a relative’s house in Catlettsburg when I decided we might just as well stop at the Ashland water plant instead.

Grandgirl II was highly impressed with the pipe and its six or so taps where we could fill our containers the do-it-yourself way. We filled the five-gallon jug that used to hold change, the empty milk jug I’d held back from the trash and a plastic container with a tight lid that held dry dog food until it was pressed into emergency duty as a water container.

That gave us some water to drink and some to use for toilet flushing. But we decided to go the extra mile in the way of preparations, given how the water situation has been. So we found a nearby farm supply store and bought two nice five-gallon buckets with lids.

Back to the water plant we went with our new buckets. We filled those up and loaded them in the car. Rather, she loaded and I watched; lifting a five-gallon bucket full of water is a bit too much for my arms and shoulders being as I am a woman of a certain age.

My poor car was loaded by the time we got back to the driveway between our houses. Dear Daughter came out to help tote, and we eventually got the water into both houses.

Shortly after our grand adventure, a thin trickle of water began to come from the tap. I had a big pot of water just at the boiling point when said daughter called to tell me there might be enough for dishes.

I divided the boiled water into the two sides of the sink, waited (and waited and waited) until enough cold water flowed in to cool it slightly and washed the few dishes stacked up.

Come Sunday there was enough water for me to slowly fill the tub for my first bath in a couple of days and do an absolutely essential load of laundry.

My hope, of course, is that water will continue to come out whenever I turn the spigot. But just in case I’m being too optimistic, that big bucket of water has a place of prominence in my kitchen, and I’ve mapped out the shortest route to the water plant and its row of taps.

CATHIE SHAFFER is executive editor of The Greenup News. Reach her at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net

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