Not a Drop to Drink

We’re up at the lake house for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We come up here most every year at this time – except last year when we stayed home to have a party for our younger son’s 16th birthday.

long-lakeWe arrived on Monday to a nice layer of snow on the ground. The lake is partially frozen and if the current weather continues, it’ll be completely frozen by February. On Tuesday, our caretaker called to ask if we had water. Tom tried the tap. The pressure was down, but we had water. Turns out that there was a leak in one of the pipes that runs beneath the lake. They couldn’t find the leak so they were turning off some people’s water. Whew, we thought. Dodged that  bullet.

Having lost water at our new house at the same time last year, we knew how challenging it is to live in a house with no running water. Just to be safe, I filled some empty pots and water containers. The next day, after returning from cross-country skiing, I flipped on the faucet to wash my hands. No water.


Only some of the vessels I filled with water. Please note cookie tins in background to sustain us. 

I’m not going to lie. I was bummed. I wondered if we could stay in the house for four more days without running water. We got a call late that afternoon. The diver had gotten too cold to continue working. They’d turned our water back on for the evening, but it would be off again in the morning – as soon as a new diver arrived with a heated diving suit. I filled more containers with water, did a load of laundry, ran the dishwasher and prepared for a full day of no water.

As it turned out, we ended up having water intermittently throughout the day, which was a pleasant surprise. We didn’t have water during the time I was preparing our son’s birthday cake. I stared at the dirty dishes piled in the sink and wondered how best to tackle them. I wanted them clean, but I wanted to use the least amount of water possible. I did my best. Then – when I realized the water had returned – I washed them all a second time.

That night, after celebrating our son’s birthday, he thanked us for everything and said how excited he was about the online class led by a director he admired, which we’d purchased for him. Werner Herzog, he told me, was born at the end of WW II and was forced to hide for years in the forest living with no electricity or running water. Years. With no running water.

Here’s what I learned about myself: I’m a wimp who needs a minimum of 19th century technology in order to live happily. Also, I’m a scarcitist. Okay, I made up that word. But there should be a word for someone who has a fear of scarcity. After I brought home 4 gallons of water, my husband wanted to make coffee. I said no, that I didn’t think it made sense to use some of our precious water on coffee. As if we couldn’t drive 2 miles to the Stewart’s buy more. I guess I need to go back and read my own post on Abundance.

Last thing I learned is something that tend to need to re-learn over and over: it’ll all be okay.


This guy is a saint and Nala keeps us all sane. 

I’ll leave you with images from today’s cross-country excursion. Pure abundance – of peace, beauty and joy.

6 responses to “Not a Drop to Drink

  1. Aww. So nice to see you on your cross country skiis!
    I also feel antsy when I lack something–especially water (or lights). I am a lover of comfort. But your post is very thought provoking. So many people have to do without. I have trouble going a day without something I usually take for granted.


    • L. – Yes! It is a wake-up call to realize what I need to feel comfortable and also what others are lacking day in and day out. It reminds me to be grateful for what I have on a daily basis.


    • YES! Kudos to the those divers! I can’t imagine repairing a pipe underwater – let alone in such cold conditions. In terms of storing water – I’m my mother’s daughter. Ever expecting calamity.


  2. Sometimes the most interesting, revealing things happen when plans go awry. I have to learn to let go every day. Love the snowy pictures. So beautiful. Happy New Year, Laura!


    • Sharon! So wonderful to hear from you! I recently purchased a magnet that reads: Let go or be dragged. Feels pertinent these days! It’s easy to feel chagrined that we don’t act ideally in an unexpected situation, but it’s important to also recognize where we acted well. In my case, I’d like not to have a scarcity mindset. On the other hand, I’m happy I thought to store water 🙂 Another ongoing lesson among life’s many.


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