Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homesteading in the days of yore...

Have you ever wondered how women back in the pioneer days did so much without our modern day conveniences?  For instance, just the effort to clean anything, be it household items or people, took a tremendous amount of effort because water had to be heated up by fire and then hauled to the point of necessity.  It took so much work!  Plus, water takes a while to heat up, especially in great volume.  What has me pondering about all this?

Well, my new year is starting with a bang...or I should say, a leak!  Our hot water heater is cracked and we won't be installing a new one until Saturday-so no hot water delivered to us conveniently!  Fortunately, in this wonderful modern age we live in, electricity is my friend and I have massive pots to boil water in for any use we need.  I've had to wash my dishes by hand (I'm sure you are all balking at me right now, but my least favorite chore is washing dishes by hand and my dishwasher is truly a workhorse around here!).  It has been a long time since I've washed dishes by hand and it really hasn't been that bad.  In fact, seeing how much water I save may be a turning point for me.  We shall see! 

The question arises now on how we bathe.  It's interesting because most of us don't think about this due to the fact that we have hot, running water.  With six of us, bathing is a pressing issue.  Hmmmmm.  We had to come up with something so let me show you our make-shift tub in the tub!

That's right--it's a handy 18 gallon bin just purchased on black Friday!  I boil water in my massive pot, we take it upstairs and pour it in the bin while the bin is in the tub, add cold water to bring down the temp. a little, and then proceed to bathe.  We told the kids to wash their hair and their face first, then they could sit in it (or attempt to sit in it) or stand in it and wash off.  This may seem weird to blog about, but like I said, it's not something I ever thought about before.  All I can say is that I am soooooo thankful to have the ability to heat up water fairly quickly.  I know that there are those who are off the electrical grid and all I can say is blessings to you.  This does take a lot of work and effort to have the luxury of a warm bath or shower.  What I would like to focus on now is what would we do if the electricity goes out for quite some time.  This little stint without hot water has really made me think about preparedness in these type of areas.  Hopefully, this post will make you think a little about these things, too, and if not, at least you have yet another use for an 18 gallon bin!!! 

After all this, it makes me very thankful for what we do have.  I am thankful that our hot water heater has lasted this long and I pray our next one will have longevity as well. And I am always grateful for the women who came before us working tirelessly to provide for their homesteads no matter what the circumstances!  May we all rise up and meet every difficulty that comes our way with that same pioneer spirit!  May you enjoy your hot water no matter how it gets heated!!!!

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