Water, Water Everywhere...

 So my lovely wife and I read one of Maya's posts over at How to Be Israeli about washing dishes "Israeli-style", primarily due to the water shortage there.

We thought, "How nice. How ecologically friendly. How delightfully, wonderfully responsible and sound!" Then we let the water run, because the pipes here are cold, and waited for our water  heater to ponder the notion of providing water even remotely above lukewarm sometime this century.

And then the water bill came. It was about double. Then the power bill came. It was about double, too. Finally the sweat came. Fortunately, that wasn't double, but still not very nice. I can't let the kids take all of the blame, especially for the water part. However we now have ways to deal with the issue.

The reason this is all important in the first place is that we are already beginning to save for Aliyah, and wasting resources just cuts into the quality of life and the ability to do the many things we will need to do later. The amount we lost on power this month alone would have paid for an Israeli drivers' license.

We both gasped at that realization.

We pulled two unneccessary light bulbs from their fixtures, one should not be needed, ever. I put in a power-saving LED night light that is activated by darkness in order to save power there. In the main bedroom where my kids love to leave the light on all hours of the night, I replaced the incandescent with another LED light bulb. The light is now much gentler, and it isn't as if they read in their bedroom, anyway.

Addressing the water issue, we bought a PuR water filtration pitcher and a much larger spigoted container. Before, there was a faucet-mounted filter, but we had expended the last filter, and the unit was beginning to break and shoot a little stream of water out that I had to cover with heavy tape.

Now, we have a full jug of clean water whenever we need it. I use that water now for my instant coffee (hey, I'd better figure out the logistics of this stuff now, right?) and I no longer have the unfiltered water I was using in the coffee pot before, and after unplugging the coffee pot that used to draw current, I'm missing that from the whole bill, too.

We located a glass bowl that I use to pull just enough of the cold water out to fill it and wash dishes in the sink. Except now instead of running the water forever to get it warm enough to touch, I just nuke the bowl of water for four minutes while I do something else.

Another final thing was to lower the flow of the water going to the bathroom sinks. We really don't need to use a gallon of water to wash our hands or brush our teeth. A little flow is fine. Before, it had almost enough power to blast paint off of a Hot Wheels car.

We have been putting a good deal of thought into the whole process, and learning more and more every day. Meeting the new people here of late has been wonderful as well. Where we live, we are far removed from any Jewish communities, and while Atlanta has several Chabad schlichum, we don't know any of them yet. We avoid driving on Shabbat, and there is a little nervousness about shabbat hospitality at the moment because, as you know if you've read my wife's blog, have a few behaviorial "speedbumps" with our children that we are working through.

I think for them this process will be good, and I know that they are more than able to succeed in a new environment, even though we anticipate it won't be easy. But we didn't sign up for easy, home is home.

I have tried to imagine what it would be like to get off the plane, and while I can feel a slight premonition of it, I'm just not quite there yet. But even that little bit is wonderful. Even with that, my wife is amazing at the way she tries to identify any issue, any crack in the armor of what is our shared dream, to try to ensure nothing blindsides us and shifts us from our goal and the life we want to share together, or the life, education, and a closeness to Eretz Yisrael we want our sons to experience.

How could you not be more grateful?

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