Thirst is a word that can mean so many things. When I think of thirsty I usually mean water. Not everyone likes water but I truly love the wetness, the plain taste without additives, and has just a hint of minerals. I’m not thrilled when I taste chlorine or if there is sediment, but as long as it settles on the bottom, I’m fine. I used to live in the mountains of Northern New Mexico on a piece of land with no amenities. We had a well dug and added a hand pump. I lived across the field and up the hill. Every day one of us would have to carry two ten gallon buckets up the hill to home. I could only fill them just over half, otherwise they would spill. I’d put a cover on the bucket and use it as needed. Sometimes the rust from the pipe casing would leave a residue in the bottom of the otherwise clear and slightly sweet, water. I think it added a bit of iron, which is great. Before we had the well, the closest water was in the next town, running through a “canale”. This is a hollowed out log that carries runoff water from above and comes out into a ditch. We would take a 55 gallon drum and carry it in the truck, to the canale to fill. Then it would sit on a stand in my outdoor kitchen. I’d unscrew the cap and let the water come into a jar or bucket for use in cooking, drinking and washing. It could take as much as a week or even two for it to be empty enough for a refill. Out of pure practicality, water was conserved. The water did not always taste great and you did have to let it settle a bit or just drink it anyway. One day, I was tipping it to get the dregs and out came a dead chipmunk. Some of the hair was coming off so it must have been in there at least a couple of days….if not more. I was a bit grossed out by that, but it also gave meaning to the mild and intermittent diarrhea that occurred with regularity. I was really happy to have the well, even with the work of carrying it up the hill. It always seemed so sparkling and clear and I loved the taste of it. I now live in Seattle and I still drink my water straight from the tap. I don’t purify it or buy it in a bottle. I love that there is water flowing into my home that I can get into a glass by opening a spout. How incredible. Taking a shower with hot water is also something that I delight in. Before we had the well, washing up was with a cloth and a small basin of water, while standing at the woodstove. I bathed the kids in a 5 gallon bucket until they were too big and then we moved on to a round aluminum tub that I poured heated water into. Once the well was functioning, we put a black painted 55 gallon barrel on a tall stand so that the sun warmed it and I could stand underneath and have a real shower. Right next to the pump, we placed a porcelain tub. I could build a fire underneath and put a slab of wood inside to keep from sitting directly on the hot bottom. But, the sides were usually ok and it was such a treat. We usually put as many of us in there at a time as we could fit. This was only great in the summer. Winter brought back the celebrated spit bath. Once I moved to the city, I had hot running water. Living in a dry area meant water conservation. I took a shower by getting wet, turning off the spout to soap up (with biodegradable product) and turning it back on to rinse. All the water was collected in a basin I stood in and used to water the garden. I now live in Seattle, which is the opposite. Water is everywhere, often too much. I still don’t take more than a five or ten minute shower, but I am grateful every time I turn on the faucet and hot water showers over my head. I have never underestimated the joy of running hot water.