Sunday, August 10, 2008

August 10, 2008 No Hot water for a Week

Noon no Hot Water For a Week
A western movie I once saw had a recurring line something like, "What we have here is a failure to communicate." I feel that way everyday when I discover something that everyone else knows but us. It happened Friday when I overheard one of the Novosibirsk elder's conversation with one of the transferring elders passing through the mission office. He said, "Our hot waster should be back on by the 12th." I asked how long his water had been off and he said, "since last Saturday just like yours. We are all on the same system and the notice in our building said that they would have it back on line by the 12th."

I knew it was a central system and that I had been out of hot water since the previous Saturday, but I just didn't think about EVERYONE being shut off. We were commiserating with eachother about the water, but neither of us hit upon the fact that everyone was taking cold showers (or none at all) for the past week.

I, on the other hand, had decided that being out of hot water was not a noble sacrifice. It was just an inconvenience that had done nothing for my character and that I was going to do something about it. Thursday morning, my third without a shower, I began to consider alternatives. This called for a two-pronged approach. One was to solve the immediate problem and the other was to be prepared for the next episode of missing comfort that would surely come.

Working backward, preparation for the future took the form of either an electric "on demand" tankless water heater installed in the bathroom under the current sink next to the tub. The Research Department brought in a bid of $650 US for such an animal, not counting the shipping from Peoria. I sent it back to Research for another source closer to home. We also have the wiring problem, considering that the walls are 12" thick concrete and there is no electrical outlet in the bathroom. This whole idea needs more work.

The immediate problem was a hot shower, or a close approximation of one. I considered a remodel of the 5 liter plastic water storage cannister with a hose and sprinkler can head. The problem was the only part of that aparatus I had was the plastic bottle. The rest was in my shop in Sacramento. OK, the sprinkler can shower would wave to wait for a trip to the hardware store. The immediate need called for something I DID have available; what was it?

I suddenly (well, about 40 minutes is suddenly for me these days) remembered that we had seen an extra Chainik (those electric tea pots we use) at the "Palace" (the Soviet-era palatial apartment that had been sub-divided into several strange shaped smaller apartments, in one of which our AP's and a companionship lived) had an extra Chainik in the pile of discarded household accouterments they had accumulated over the months from senior couples going home and emptying their apartments all over the mission. That could be the hot water source, but it was a bit primitive. Finally I settled on the big, old porcelain pan I had found in the closet would hold enough water for a "pour over your head" shower until I could get more parts.

By Friday we, I, had a hot shower and was grateful. Cindy thought it too much trouble until I told her the hot water wasn't coming on for another week. Today, Sunday,. she tried it out and gave it her stamp of approval. We had hot water and we had a hot shower before church and it was just fine. I'll work on the shower-can project next week when we go shopping.

What a country


Marilyn said...

It's good you are handy, Doug! I bet Cindy is grateful too. Now you just need to plan ahead for when the heat goes off in the winter...think about it now and look for all the supplies. It almost sounds like scouts surviving in the wilderness. The transfer day report was very interesting too, and it seems Cindy is in the right place with her kitchen tools and "entertaining" like she always has done. Keep up the good work.

Shannon Simmons said...

love it dad! you two are awesome - Mom is grateful to have a boy like you around the house. Skills and tools are important to have in life!!!! Keep up the good, if interesting and resourceful work. Sure love ya!

Trisha said...

It puts in mind the shower we used in the back yard when your bathrooms were being done. Oh the joys of life. What a country.

Doretta said...

This reminded me of some of our camping trips! Over the years, we rigged up different contraptions to get "somewhat" clean.

Bob said to tell you that the quote came from the movie "Cool Hand Luke" starring Paul Newman and George Kennedy.

You have a great memory and seem to make the most of "necessity is the mother of invention".

We love reading the blog, miss you and pray for you always.

Bob and Doretta