“Go in the house and wash yo’ ass, chile.” 

That’s what some of the black parents and grandparents used to yell at me and the other children that were still outside running around in our yards during the heart of the summer in southeast Louisiana. 

I learned the importance of taking a bath at a young age. It didn’t matter the temperature of the water back then. Especially being that my family was poor. 

We didn’t have a hot water heater. My mama heated our water up on our gas stove in a tall worn down silver pot that was passed down from her mother. 

Baby, the bottom sides of the pot had dents and black stains proving it’s durability to throughout the many years she had it.

My mama would walk to the faucet in front of our one bed room house and fill the pot with as much water she can carry back inside the house. We didn’t have running water either. I would hold the door open for my mama as she would carefully walk up the four termite feasted wooden steps to get back inside. 

Once she would make it back inside the water would be placed on our gas stove that had seen better days. Once the water would be hot enough to still touch, but had steam lifting to the heavens she would pour the water into a basin.

The basin would be large enough for me and my younger sister and brother to stand in, but not large enough to sit down. My mama would then grab a bar of Ivory soap and a ragged rag that the threads were ripped apart on. 

She would place the soap into the rag and dip it into the water. I could see the sediment from the warm tap water float around as it merged with the Ivory soap bubbles. 

My mama would allow us all to take turns bathing. She believed that the youngest would go first and then the oldest (me) would be last. By the time it was my turn the water would be as murky and cold as the muddy bayou waters. I would dump the water out and proceed to make my own bath water the same way my mama did. 

I grew up with crucial survival skills that my beautiful struggle with poverty taught me. I learned and appreciated the little things. Even to this day being able to take a hot shower is a blessing to always be appreciated to me. 

These past five days without hot water has taught me to never forget your humble beginnings. Staying for Hurricane Ida and living through the aftermath has brought me happiness. It’s the appreciation for what you have, what you desire, and survival tactics that have been etched upon my heart. 

I’ve been thugging it out along with my husband and our two kids out here. My husband has been heating up water in a crawfish boiling pot on the grill for our kids to bathe in the bathtub with.

My husband and I have been getting and staying clean with cold showers daily. I have also been talking to God more, singing hymns while taking a cold shower, and I’ve been paying more attention to how I spend and manage my time. 

A cold shower can be refreshing, soothing, and beneficial to your skin and mind. It’s all about what you make of it. I’ve found comfort in showering in cold water and would definitely do it again after the power comes back on. Hard times make you stronger and there’s research done over the years to prove it. I’m a walking testimony of everything I’ve been through. 

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment