So, I had this really great idea for our Monthly Mission with Paper for Water. I really wanted the kids to know and understand what it was like to not be able to play or go to school because they spent the day hauling (dirty) water.
We grabbed some pitchers and buckets, our plastic red wagon and walked down to the lake in our neighborhood so we could haul water like millions of people around the world do every day. This would have been a fun Spring day activity but for some reason we are in Second Winter and it was snowing. SNOWING IN MARCH IN GEORGIA. We were bundled up with gloves and hats, the works.
When we finally got to the dock, I laid down on my stomach and filled the pitchers with brown water. The kids were thoroughly appalled. Then we spent the next 30 minutes walking home trying not to spill a drop. Which, of course didn’t work.
But it was hilarious. They kept saying, “Wait for me, Mommy! Oh no! I spilled some! We should go back and get more!” while I said things like, “Well, if we don’t bring the water, we won’t have enough to water our crops. If we spill too much, how will we cook for our family tonight?”
They were super serious and worked very hard not to spill any of our precious water.
So. We finally get back home and press the secret code on our garage door opener keypad to get inside and NOTHING HAPPENS.
The garage door doesn’t open. I try again. Still nothing. I try 15 more times. NO MOVEMENT.
No biggie. I’m sure a door is unlocked. We try the front door. The basement door. The backdoor. Nada.
We are stuck outside our house in the snow (or “snow” as you Yankees might call it) with 3 buckets of dirty water.
I finally walked around to the back of the house and jimmied a basement window open, crawled inside and walked up the stairs to go inside and let the kids in. But, what’s this? The door from the house to the basement is locked.
Are you kidding me?
So, we’re locked out of the upstairs but not the basement. Of course, the basement isn’t finished and may have a couple of snakes or mice living in it, but hey–it’s the perfect place to let the kids play while I walk around the house looking like a robber scoping the place out.
I tried every window and every lock three or four times. I moved the ladder around to climb higher windows. I even got online on my phone and googled “how to break into your house”.
Then I remembered something.
When it’s really cold outside, the garage door opener in my car won’t work right away. Sometimes I even have to pick it up and rub it between my hands before it will open.
I grabbed a flat-head screwdriver from out of the basement, flipped open the battery compartment to the garage door keypad, pulled out the 9 volt battery, warmed it between my hands like a baby bird, plugged it back in and punched the code.
And it worked!
We immediately went inside and had grilled cheese and tomato soup as a reward.
We also spent a little time looking at our water–we ended up only collecting about 1.5 gallons. I looked at our water bill and discovered that last month we used an average of 178 gallons of water PER DAY. I am totally sickened by that number. I have no idea if that’s a lot or a little but it seems enormous. Comparing our 1.5 gallons (I poured them in the bathtub so the kids could see how little it actually was) to 178 was pretty daunting.
And yes, I see the complete ridiculousness of me getting upset and aggravated about being locked out of a beautiful, secure house because our automatic garage door opener is cold with a warm unfinished basement full of things we rarely use while trying to teach my kids about people who don’t even have clean water.
Oh, well. At least we got to play in the “snow”.