I find it ironic that I, a self-proclaimed historian, am living the life of a servant gathering water for a bath. Now I will admit that when I moved to France I had assumed that water heaters were installed in homes. My first two apartments both had waterless tanks which were wonderful I might add.
But alas I had been spoiled. Or snobby. However you spin it that is what I am….
Normandy or the countryside or pretty much all of France for that matter commonly have a boiler that runs off of domestic fuel.
Now if you’re thinking that I can just run to the shop and purchase a bottle of this particular type of fuel, well you would be wrong.
You have to schedule a “gas truck” to bring your fuel and pump it into the tank-which then feeds the broiler.
If you run out of domestic fuel well you go without hot water or heating.
This is what has happened to me.
The last time I filled up the tank was in the summer, and I just ran out. And while I know you’re thinking, wow that lasted a long time! In one way you’re right, in another it is quite irritating that it ran out at all.
I don’t have the time to schedule a filling. And now it’s the holidays so there is no room for a scheduled visit.
Which leads me to boiling water for my baths.
The good girl in me is grateful that I have a bath I can sink into, and I don’t have to stand in the shower running a rag over my body every so often dipping into the bucket of water as I wash my stinky body.
After the first couple of weeks it was romantic that I could boil water and run it upstairs to said bath.
My boys certainly loved the opportunity to play in the water. My youngest took it as an opportunity to practice holding his breath as he does when he is swimming.
All in all a good time.
Never once did the thought about how heavy it would be to bring water in a bucket up the stairs, through the hallway then lift it so I can pour it into a rather deep tub cross my mind.
(I have discovered I can do this four times with the bucket and have a satisfactory bath.)
I embraced the good, all the exercise I would get carrying the bucket up the stairs. My butt would surly be firmer, thank you domestic fuel for running out.
And thank you (fill in the blank) for causing gas prices to go insanely high.
This leads me to my next thought, I am no longer as snobby-as I once was.
I am mean I am probably still snobby but I’m not as snobby.
Several months into the boiling and caring of the buckets, I wonder where have I gone wrong in life?
That is when it hit me.
You see all my life I had been called a snob. A snob by any other name is still a snob.
And while at the time I chalked it up as a person with high standards I never once thought of myself as a snob.
Oh, how I was wrong.
Is it wrong to be snobby?
To outwardly put a display of a person who likes the finer things in life, loves to take care of themselves, and has a hard time being around crowds?
As I grew older I learned that my snobby behavior was more of a side effect of my shyness, and moving to France taught me that my people are very much the same way.
Which even more solidifies the fact that this move was the right move.
I find nothing wrong with wanting instant hot water on tap or having fresh clean towels. Nor do I find it wrong that I can not in good conscience subscribe to keeping lawns as a profession.
While I am sure that my lack of work ethic may alarm many, landscaping is something I best leave to those who enjoy it and won’t kill the machines as I would.
So, until I can schedule a refueling and take a shower like a 21st century person, I am off to chop up some wood for the fire, it’s going to be a cold night.
I can not promise that I may or may not end up with a handful of splinters, but with any luck, I’ll finish my work with all my fingers and limbs.