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November Gratitude Post 6, Water

                      1980 journal

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.

                                                cabin inside late '70's

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


I made it this far and plan to keep going. I believe nature heals the soul. I love to journal, to write, do art, and music. I'm not afraid to tackle tough subjects. Solar-powered & drive hybrid. Trying to do my part. Earned my BA at 53. And, I believe, it's never too late to have a happy childhood.

7 thoughts on “November Gratitude Post 6, Water

  1. Yes, Sue, I have lived without hot running water. Because I could not pay my gas bill, the gas company came and took the water heater out of the basement. That was the 2nd time I lived without hot running water. The first time,at another place during winter, it got so cold in the apt. that the toilet bowl water froze. I’ll never take hot running water for granted ever again. Thanks for stirring that memory in me….

    1. Hi Paula, thank you for stopping by. I was thinking about power outages especially after Hurricane Sandy in New York. Your story is captivating. Thank you for sharing and for reading the blog. All the best to you and yours!

  2. Oh Sue, I remember those stories so vividly. It is so important we record these experiences as you have in a journal. They become seeds for a memoir.I will be the first in line to read your memoir. 🙂

  3. Your blog post reminded me of my visits to Trinidad when I was a child. There were many times we did not have water and though I was too young to appreciate having water. Today I am grateful not only for running water, but that I have both hot and cold temperatures.

  4. Hi Andrea, it’s wonderful to have luxuries isn’t it? 🙂 What a joy to have a hot bath, water any time we want it and access to just about anything we need in the way of food. I want to hear more about Trinidad.

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