My power was out for a little over two days and I managed to stay warm enough to tolerate it. I was very grateful when it came back on, but shortly after that, the water pressure dwindled. As the flow slowed from a trickle to nothing at all, we attempted to fill a bathtub with water just for toilet use. After moving water from the tub to the toilet tank using a pot a few times, my comprehension grew for how much water a toilet uses—even a modern, water-efficient one like mine!
As the sun came out and the weather swiftly warmed back up to a typical balmy Texas February, the snow on my roof melted like magic! I placed every bucket, storage container, and empty trash bin I could spare under the corners of the eaves collecting water for toilet use. It was astonishing how quickly a 13-gallon trash can could fill up. Hauling melted snow-water by the bucketload into the house became a full-time job. I am embarrassed to admit that, after years of extolling the virtues of rainwater harvesting, I’ve never installed a single rain barrel. Having one would have made this situation easier, and my potted plants would have benefitted if I had done that years ago.