Rumor has it our water bills will triple soon. When I hear of such potential hardships coming our way, I remember living in West Africa. Though it was without a doubt the hardest three years of our lives, it is a time I would not trade for anything. In fact, those years rank high among the best years. We lived in a house in an urban area and had running water and electricity. But there were times when I wish we had neither because the utilities only worked about half the time anyway; they were far from dependable.
For instance, cooking dinner for guests––in the middle the power would go off. Run for the lanterns and light the gas stove (whose fuel we rationed so carefully) and continue the cooking. Lights back on, back to the electric stove. That particular meal, I remember, power went on and off six times as I cooked.
I know we've softened as time has passed. We haven't forgotten, but we don't always have on our minds how it was back then. I think our survival skills would return if life ever becomes difficult here. I'm terribly grateful for all I learned those years.
I guess God has new ways to teach me things now that life is relatively easy. We may have plenty of water and other luxuries, but there are lessons to be learned with health struggles, aging parents, changes in so many areas of life ... I try very hard to look on it all with gratitude ... for the good and for the hard, for how we learn, and for what is yet to come ...
Up top: Not my photo; to the side, that's me with almost-to-my-waist-long hair tied up. The only way in all that heat and humidity!