Lessons of Gratitude from a Hot Water Tank.

My neighbour is feeling his Acadian pride.

My neighbour is feeling his Acadian pride.

My heart tugged at me to come and visit relatives in New Brunswick.  I’m staying at the little house my dad built on a country highway, right up from the village where my folks are from. This house doesn’t get used very often and I haven’t stayed in it in 10 years. Needless to say, not everything works the way it did the last time I was here.

The biggest challenge that I’ve had to face is that the hot water tank has been persnickety. When I arrived Monday night, I thought it wasn’t going to work at all. Halfway through the day on Tuesday, I actually had hot water and managed to do dishes and have a bath Wednesday morning. Yay!

Unfortunately, that was the last time hot water would come out of the faucet. I now get lukewarm water; which is more luke, than warm. Whenever I need hot water, I have to boil pots and a kettle. This morning took me over an hour to have enough hot water so that. mixed in with the lukewarm, I could have a bath. (I had to replace the plug the first day, as it crumbled from old age.)

water tankNot knowing the first thing about hot water tanks or electricals, I went into the basement to check out if I could miraculously figure out what might be the problem. This is my analysis. The tank is definitely old. Knowing my dad, he probably bought it after it had passed its “best before date”. I couldn’t find the date it had been manufactured, but the rust stains tell the story. Needless to say, I don’t have a clue how to fix it. So boiling water it is!

As I reflect on this hot water tank and its valiant efforts to give me a little warmer water, I cannot help but feel tremendous joy and gratitude for the riches in my life. The news has been so horrible in so many parts of our beaten up world, where, for many, basic survival includes finding safe drinking water.

In Canada we generally don’t worry about having drinking water. We actually have entire parks dedicated to just playing in the stuff. I am struck by what a small, insignificant problem I have – and that I have so many choices. No one is making me stay here against my will. I could just go home. I could stay with relatives. I have options.

So as I look out on this rainy day and heat up water to do my dishes; I am thankful, oh so thankful for the opportunity of choices, the miracle of clean drinking water and the blessings of warm and welcoming relatives.

May you perceive all your problems as insignificant!

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