I often get a lot of flak for not having a toilet tank at my house in Maine. Last year the water in it froze and it cracked the porcelain. The bowl remained intact, but the tank was unsalvageable. So thinking I was lucky that I had a toilet that was 2 pieces and it was a popular and prolific brand (American Standard), I figured finding a replacement for the tank wouldn’t be too difficult to do. But alas, despite web searches and even calling American Standard, they were unable to match up the model numbers on my toilet to anything in their system. So it’s been a year of me having to manually flush my toilet (for those of you squeamish out there: it’s called fill up a bucket, dump it into the bowl quickly, gravity does the rest. I think this is a skill that everyone should have in their back pocket, it will make losing power for those with electric water pumps slightly less obnoxious).
But it seems like the more crap (no pun intended) I get from friends and family, the less I want to actually have this issue fixed. It’s not a hassle for me personally, and well it is my house, right? But there are other reasons: it’s a silent protest against products created to have interchangeable parts, but when one of those parts is impossible to find, it defeats the purpose of having interchangeable parts.
And what I feel is most important, that filling that bucket of water every time is a conscious reminder of the fact that 3 BILLION people on this planet don’t have clean or safe drinking water. I pause and say a little thank you for what I have. I take a moment and remind myself to not take for granted the water that comes out of the tap….that I don’t have to walk 3 miles to get that gallon of water….that wars are not fought so I can drink it…that I don’t have to boil it to make it clean.