I am grateful for clean running water and decent sanitation. For years, and with young children, I lived without hot running water and electricity. I hauled all our water, every drop of it. I chopped wood and did all the things that men do in country living, but then again, most country women are like that. I would never trade the experience. That lifestyle was not something I did for six months or a year to write a book about or to engage in an experiment, although there are aspects to not having the amenities that now seem too rugged. We didn’t have phones. Sometimes we didn’t have a car. One winter we got snowed in and ran out of food and had to walk out with a four year old and a baby. I kept an illustrated journal through all of it. Many people in the world still live that way.
Journal prompt: Have you ever lived without hot running water? Write about your experiences. If you’ve always had modern amenities, try living without them for a day or two. That includes water, electricity, phone, and flushing. It adds a new dimension to the concept of gratitude.
Top photo: cover of my journal 1980
Bottom: journal drawing from that time period
Copyright © 2013 writing, art, photos by Susan E. Rowland