Taking a Shower, Islandia Style

Our trailer here at Islandia doesn’t have a water heater. Everything works just fine! said the woman when we bought the trailer. Liar, liar pants on fire. The list of things that didn’t work is endless. But back to the lack of hot water.

In summer – when it’s too hot to be here – the lack of hot water doesn’t matter. The water pipes are just a few inches under the sand, and the cold water makes for a perfect shower. But last fall when it had become cooler, showering become a project.

We use the bath house for our showers. No problem, except this was November and the hot water hadn’t been turned on yet. I’d taken a shower three days previously and vowed I’d stay dirty if the hot water didn’t come on. That morning I begged Manny to turn it on, and he did so immediately. An hour later, I packed up my shower kit and strolled on over.

Turned on the hot water. Nothing. Waited. Nothing. Tried the other shower. Ditto. Tracked down Manny and he went in back to investigate. Suddenly, water! Just as suddenly, it stopped. No amount of fussing could get it to come on again.

So Manny the gallant opened up an unused guest room and offered me the shower there. I turned on the water and it came out at a steady one-gallon-a-minute stream and was warm. I could do it.

Stripped, jumped in the shower, wet my hair and shampooed it. Just as I began to rinse, and just as soapy water began to slide down my face, neck, and body, the water ceased. No cold, either.

So with suds in my eyes, I jumped out of the shower and turned on the hot water in the sink. Hooray! About one-and-a-half gallon flow!

In that shallow sink, it took awhile for me to thoroughly rinse my hair clean of suds, and just as I began to wonder how to rinse the rest of my body, the shower miraculously came back to life. I jumped back in and rinsed clean in a drizzle or warm. It felt like heaven.

Note to self: buy a water heater.



Published by Emilie

I'm a retired instructor from a community college where I taught Developmental English and Reading as well as English as a Second Language. I'm also now a published author of a bilingual children's book entitled. Luisa the Green Sea Turtle - Luisa la Tortuga Verde del Mar. It's available from me, through Amazon, and is in a few (more and more each day!) bookstores.

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  1. You can always warm water in the stove, a middle size pot would do nicely, piping hot and add it to a bucketful of cold water, presto, warm water. Then you can take a bath “a güejazo” (you know what a güeja is, don’t you? If not, ask Manny). Have fun!

  2. If you live in a trailer and space is an issue, you could buy one of the portable showers for camping like a Zodi that work off of the little propane bottles … http://www.zodi.com/ OR get a bigger one for less money but still tankless and very nice for less than 140 http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/EccoTemp-Portable-Tankless-Water-Heater/37786/&?&affiliateid=3274&cvsfa=2734&cvsfe=2&cvsfhu=3337373836&gclid=CIDb8e_en7YCFQThQgodaGsAaA

    If the links don’t work, just try google ing Zodi and Eccotemp. I would go with the eccotemp . tankless is nice for the occaisional user becasue there is NO WAITing for the tank to heat up, just turn on and go.

  3. I’d forgotten how exciting taking a shower can be!
    Your walking stick is waiting for your return.

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