Sunday, November 6, 2011

Running Cold and Hot

My hot water tank lives in the garage.  Most of us would say that's a pretty nice home for something so wonderfully necessary.  I agree: when I'm taking a shower or bath, the tank is close to the job with quick and soothing hot water.  When I'm in working in the kitchen and want it now, it's another story.  Though in actual distance it seems like half a mile that the hot stuff has to flow to reach me, it cannot be.  It's not even 75 feet (the width of our property).  Since we often measure distance with time, I put a clock to the process--1 minute and 12 seconds and 1 1/2 gallons of water to bring it hot to my hand in the kitchen.

With fall and rain and rain and fall and more rain coming on, why would I be even slightly interested in this detail.  We have plenty of water.  For one thing I know that water is one of our most precious resources, and that if I am grateful for it and careful with it even when there is an abundance, I will never be without.

So getting back to the 1 minute and 12 second.  My husband, bless his dear and wonderful heart, parks his car outside in the driveway so that I can park my little car all cozied up in the garage (with the hot water heater, you may remember.  We may need to investigate at another time what is going on with those two).  That's no big deal in the summer, but in the winter the half-lit air of early morning is often just above freezing.  Our household technique for cleaning the car windows for safe driving to work is to pour warm/hot water over them.  So there we are in the kitchen, running precious gallons of drinkable water down the drain while we wait.  And wait and wait.  Frankly, it bothers me more than a little.

Catching it, not wasting it

Today I changed my wait time to Things I get to do today to save water and grabbed a large pitcher to catch the cold-sometime-becoming-warm water.  But with not one plant in my house or yard needing a drink, what to do with this abundant but precious liquid?

Washing machine to the rescue!  That's where it went, and fortunately for me--probably to karmically offset the tank-in-the-garage thing--my washing machine is only a few feet away from my kitchen sink.  Next load of clothes to be washed already has a few gallons ready for the job.*

*I have no idea if this would work on a front load machine. Try it and let me know.

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