Friday, January 29, 2010


Several years ago, my brother and I roughed it on a camping trip in southeastern Arizona. By roughing it I mean we camped only at relatively primitive campsites which lacked basic facilities such as showers. By day, we hiked in the mountains and in the desert, where temperatures regularly climbed over 100º F. At night, we slept in sleeping bags in a tent with temperatures usually plunging below freezing. After a week or so of this routine, and without a river or lake or pool to rinse off in, we were both caked with a filthy combination of sweat and dirt. We had long since passed the point of being able to tolerate each other’s smell, but it wasn’t until we finally got to the point of being unable to stand our own stench that we gave in and sprung for a hotel room. What followed was the best shower I’ve ever had in my life.

For almost a week, I have been without water (it's funny how that happens when pipes freeze). This hasn't particularly bothered me, but it hasn't pleased me either. Being a spoiled American, I enjoy a daily shower. And no water obviously equals no shower. Several people, including one of my female students who went so far as to invite me to shower with her, kindly offered to let me shower at their homes. Not wanting to inconvenience anyone, I politely declined. And this morning, I was awakened at 3:28 by a truly wonderful sound – water pouring onto my bathroom floor. I was so pleased that stepping in the icy cold water to turn off the faucets didn’t even phase me. I went back to bed and slept better than I have in some time, knowing that a nice hot shower was in my future. A few hours later, I took my first shower in nearly a week. It didn’t top the Arizona shower, but it certainly makes the short list of best showers I’ve ever had ... mainly because it means I have water again.

Here’s a shot of my greasy mop just before this morning’s shower.

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