Bathwater

Despite the blissful climate, the sunny skies, an occasional parallel to wartime London tweaks the mind these days in California’s ongoing drought. The lack of bathwater for instance.

In England during the war, the nation had to save water due to burst pipes resulting from bombing. Fires were everywhere and the Thames was running low. Not to mention the vast number of immigrants and their attendant governments fleeing the Nazi advance across Europe. The lack of water was only one of the shortages, but it got my attention while I was very young.

No one could use to use more than five inches of bathwater and our convent wasn’t plumbed for showers. The nun in charge of bathing us orphanage kids would plunge her flattened hand, tip first, perpendicular into fresh bathwater, measuring that it was no deeper than where her thumb extended.

Sepia bath-tap

The smallest kid went first. Not because she had less dirt, you understand, because that was certainly not true. Merely less skin area

By the time you got to kid number three the water was cloudy, by four it was distinctly muddy. After that you just closed your eyes and got in.

Oh, I failed to mention. We slopped our washcloths in the first-drawn water and washed our faces before kid number one got in.

Thankfully.

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About helenscribe

Helen is a long-time writer, with experience in both fiction and non-fiction. Her latest fiction, an English cozy mystery "The Domino Deaths" is available on Amazon. She is also an amateur painter and sailor.
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