I Remember Wednesday


~a snippet from the recesses of my memory~

As I enjoyed my shower this evening, I thought of my dad.  My dad has always been a frugal man, and one thing that particularly irked him were long hot showers.  I guess the thought of all that hot water going down the drain was more than he could take.  He had a very effective, and possibly unique, method of training his children to limit their showers.  He built us a new house when I was about seven or eight years old, and there was a heat lamp over the shower.  The switch to the heat lamp was a timer, and the rule was that you were to set the timer for no more than ten minutes, and be out of the shower before it shut off. 

I loved long hot showers, so you can guess that occasionally the timer was set for longer than the allotted time.  But that didn’t phase my dad.  He had a backup plan.  The exposed plumbing in one corner of our laundry room included a valve that wasn’t exactly standard equipment.  It shut off the hot water.  None of us knew this except Dad.  When he decided that someone was taking too long in the shower, he would go down and shut it off briefly.  If anyone mentioned the little shot of cold water they’d gotten during their shower, Dad said, “Hmmm.  I bet you were just about to run out of hot water.”  And sure enough, if you tested it out, after a couple of cold shots, suddenly you were showering in freezing water.

I grew up believing that hot water ran out just like the electricity during a power outage.  It flickered a time or two, then it was gone!  I never did catch on.  I was married and in my own home for years before I finally heard about this trick.  I must admit, it worked quite wonderfully.  I still tend to take short showers and not waste time.  Or hot water. 



About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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6 Responses to I Remember Wednesday

  1. mamaglop says:

    I have wished I had installed a valve like that.  We had a shower that you could adjust so that it barely dribbled, and I would sometimes do that so I could stay in the shower longer.  I think of it as “the philosopher’s corner”.  Some things are just better thought about in the shower.  I enjoyed your story. 

  2. BooksForMe says:

    That is too cute!  Smart man.  Hey, are you making a gingerbread house this year?  I was wondering if regular gingerbread dough works, or if you need a special recipe.  I’m thinking of giving it a go!

  3. homefire says:

    @BooksForMe – Well, I’ve been working on a design–haven’t really gotten very far yet.  The recipe I use is one I got out of the newspaper years ago, and I have never experimented much with anything else, so I can’t tell you.  I’m sure there are numerous recipes online, or I can send you mine if you like.  Go for it!  I’d love to see what you come up with. 

  4. homefire says:

    @mamaglop – Yeah, it is a rather good place to think.  (after all, I thought of this post there  )  and a good place to sing, too.    And once in a great while I do allow myself the luxury of just standing there and enjoying it.

  5. ElizabethDNB says:

    Heehee!  Our dads would have hit it off!

  6. mcbery says:

    I’m glad my dad didn’t know how to do that. Lol! My husband’s a plumber but he’s never done that. I remember growing up Mom and Dad had 7 kids and one bathroom. The cast iron tub was all we had, no shower. In the winter that thing was icy cold! Shiver!! I’m glad for hot showers and fiberglass tubs!

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