The Things I Take For Granted

Like water.

For washing my hands, brushing my teeth, drinking as many cups of coffee as I want to – oops, have I had too many?

Large Mason Jar filled with waterGuzzling down an oversized mason jar full of water. Standing in a hot shower as I wash my hair, put on conditioner, soap up, wash face, rinse, then stand there a moment just because it feels good. Each day.

I won’t mention the embarrassment of, as my mom used to say “visiting the John,” without water.

It’s only been eighteen hours since an electrical part broke on our pump and we have been without water.

Yesterday on an afternoon walk up Hill Road in Brookline I noticed how fiercely the water was running in the brook after an odd February rain. The flowing water was fresh, pure, relentless. The thought came, “what would I do if our water was suddenly polluted?” One of the things we have always loved most about our Vermont home is the abundant, clean, water. We take it for granted.

Richard had two large bottles of water stashed for emergencies. The three of us drank that up before bedtime. I remembered I had another big mason jar, half full, left out in the potting shed I call an office. I ran out there this morning to get it so that I could have coffee. When I came back in, Richard already had the kettle going with water he had saved for his morning coffee.

Neither of us had saved a glass of water for Dylan, so I drove down to the Newfane Market to get a few gallons of water and mentioned our situation to the kind owner. He said if we needed quantities of water there was a spring off Route 30 near Brattleboro. I knew where he meant. For years I’ve seen folks stopped by the side of the road there filling up jugs of water. I hoped that now wouldn’t be me.

Our electrician/neighbor is here now working on the problem. On the one hand, I’m thinking I hope he gets it fixed in time for me to take a shower as I’m going out of town today. On the other, I’m listing all the things I take for granted everyday. The car that will get me to my brother’s house in Needham. The amount of gas I use without too much thought (and I marched at the People’s Climate March September of 2014 and then went about my merry way), the food I eat too much of and complain about weight gain, all the funny, cool, talented, crazy people in my life, my husband and three kids, the property we own here in Vermont, our neighbor who came on a weekend to fix the problem, and on and on.

So now the water pump is fixed. Richard is changing the filter and flushing out the system. I’ll wait a bit until the water heats up and head into the shower. Might make myself another cup of coffee. That moment of gratitude still lingers, but I need to get on with my day.


  1. Marj – we all do take clean water for granted . Thank you for the reminder . I enjoyed your post and the pictures and a slice of your life.
    Love you Sis!

  2. Loved this Marj I was thinking as I read this.. Of Flint Mi ,and what would we in Western New England do.. If that pipeline comes through here and breaks ?? All the kind neighbors in the world won’t give us our clean water back.
    Blog on chickie.. I’m liking this!!
    Big hug , Love Annie

  3. Love this! And it’s so true – we just assume these things will always be here for us. Until they are not. Can’t wait to read the next one.

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