The joy of a self-flushing toilet

Note to self: never take electricity for granted again.

Today was our fifth day without power and water, and my children’s eating habits have taken a turn for the worse. They have eaten way too much takeout and too many snacks from the pantry lately. When I purchased a fruit cocktail this morning, I envisioned a major infusion of vitamins for all of us. This is how that went:

Me: Anyone want fruit?

Grace and Sarah: No.

Sarah: Wait, did you say cake?

That can’t be a good thing. Is there such a thing as scurvy-related hearing loss?

Working around Irene’s power outage took a toll on my productivity and my patience this week. Between toting buckets of water upstairs to flush the toilet and travelling around town to collect water, access email, charge phones, shower, and get some work done, this little adventure became old quickly.

So yesterday we did the smart (self-indulgent?) thing and checked into a hotel to work, shower, charge our electronics, email, and flush—all in one place! After a few fabulous hours, I returned home to take care of the dogs, while my husband and children slept in Shangri-La.

So I suppose the bravest thing I’ve done lately—no, I haven’t forgotten the whole point of this blog—was to sleep alone in a dark house with unlocked garage doors. (I don’t know how to lock them when the electricity is out.) It was a bit eerie, and my golden retrievers offer as much protection as a couple of teddy bears.

The night passed uneventfully, and I am back in paradise now, freshly showered and happily blogging. What’s more, I just heard that our power was restored tonight! So tomorrow I return home to my beloved modern conveniences and a backlog of laundry and housecleaning.

I wish I could say that I handled this week’s inconvenience with dignity and grace, but I was pretty cranky. In my defense, I was not alone. Most people I ran into seemed desperate for a return to their routines and to the ability to wash their hands with something other than Purell®.

At least this week taught me to appreciate the wonder of modern utilities. Just now, I caught myself gazing at the water streaming from the hotel faucet with an attentiveness previously lavished only upon my newborn babies. It was a beautiful sight.

I can’t wait to flush my own toilet without a bucket in hand.

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10 Responses to The joy of a self-flushing toilet

  1. notquiteold says:

    We are lucky enough to have a generator, and we were only out two days, so pretty good. But the noise of the generator! When the power came back on, the silence was breathtaking!

  2. You’re amazing. I sleep horribly when my husband is away. And when I do? It’s with most of the lights in the house on, the doors dead-bolted, and a phone held firmly in each hand. Alone in the house, in the dark, with unlocked doors? Um, no.

    Glad to hear you’re managing okay!

  3. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Woo hoo! So happy your power is back on and that you can freely flush and shower!

  4. Next time you can borrow Wonderbutt. He will fiercely guard you from anything – even his own reflection.

  5. workmomad says:

    My three fearless protectors may or may not protect me (I’m pretty sure Tyra would, but Mandy or Darwin only might) BUT I am certain that they will warn me if anyone unauthorized is trying to get into the house, which is what I really want, anyhow. At first, when you said “self-flushing” toilets, I thought you meant “automatic toilets.” I hate automatic toilets, only because my daughter truly hates them and it is a five minute discussion even now to get her to use one! We were without power about three to five days with Hurricane Opal and I know how aggravating that is. I’m glad it came back on!


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