As many of you know I am very passionate about living a green and sustainable lifestyle. When my children were babies we used cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and our last baby even refused a bottle and strictly nursed (clearly my favorite! Haha! Just kidding!). My household cleaning products consist of water, baking soda, vinegar, and rags. I read labels on products and look out for any carcinogens, pesticides, toxins, etc. I do not purchase paper towels or napkins (oh the heated conversations I had with my husband those first couple years of marriage, yes, napkins…I do realize how silly it sounds, haha!). I am happy to say that we have been using cloth napkins for 9 years now…he has grown accustom to the environmental and financial advantages. I do not purchase disposable dishes, utensils, or sandwich bags. We have a filter on our faucet for our water and we use water canteens and travel mugs when we need to take water with us. I am a ‘just say no’ to water bottles kind of momma! Now, it should be noted that my mommas is not. In fact she is the complete opposite of me. And we are related, crazy, right!? She has tons of water bottles and basically disposable EVERYTHING! I have been on her for quite some time encouraging less consumption! As of yet I have not made much segue, it kills me when I see all the bottle waters stacked up!! WHY!! Why such consumption?
That Horrific Morning…..
August 2, 2014!!! This day will forever go down in history!! It started off like any other morning. I woke up around 7 pm, made my way downstairs to make some much needed coffee. Turned on the television as I walked through the living room then slide in dog pee as I entered the kitchen (I keep it real folks…and the truth is lately I have been slipping on dog pee at least 3 mornings a week…our dog is a diabetic and currently suffers from old dog syndrome, but damn he’s cute!). While cleaning the pee I overheard the news in the other room. It indicated that we should not drink our water…which let’s be honest it happens sometimes and we just boil it….next phrase out of the Newscasters mouth, DO NO BOIL! My first thought was, what!?! My second thought was, oh crap that means no coffee!!! SH*T just got real!!! I have a family of 5, a diabetic old dog, and household to take care of and I cannot do that sans caffeine!!! So the next logical step was, panic. So I tried it for a minute but it literally got me nowhere so I decided to maintain composure and go in search of caffeine, I mean water. By then my 7 year old son was up so I brought him along thinking between his 7 year old brain and my non-caffeinated brain we should have the equivalent of one working adult brain and I figured we would be back in 15 minutes or so. Little did I know!!!
The Hunt for Caffeine, I mean Water….
August 2, 2014 7:45am we arrive at Kroger’s. We walk in, me in my sunglasses, thinking those are more forgiving than my tired eyes and unwashed face…if only I could just splash a little water on my face! And I was rocking a hot bed hair too…looking back I guess I could have brushed my hair, after all there was no ban on brushing, oh well. We grab a cart and make our way to what WAS the isle filled with water, flavored water, and Gatorade, all of which were gone! We left the cart in the isle and made our way back to the car. On our way to the car a gentleman yelled to everyone GO TO MICHIGAN THEY HAVE WATER! So we all piled into our cars and drove to Michigan (BTW, Michigan is literally 8 minutes up the road so we didn’t go far). We get there and SHOCKER, they are all out of water!! At this point I am feeling like such a failure! There was no way I could go home empty handed. And I am starting to suffer from caffeine withdrawal, I am not going to lie, it wasn’t pretty! So I drove a half hour into Michigan and every stop was OUT OF WATER (later they actually typed up signs so you didn’t have to waste your time getting out of the car). Now the real irony was that I was driving all over the place for water while it was pouring down rain outside…in case you were wondering, God definitely has a sense of humor. Haha! What was initially going to only take all of 15 minutes had tuned into 2 hours, and we needed gas! So I pull into a gas station and I finally had the brilliant idea to grab an iced coffee…what can I say, my brain doesn’t function well without caffeine! And of course I looked for water but they were all out! Thus the search continued!!
Time to Eat some Humble pie….
After 3 hours of searching for water, numerous texts coming in from family and friends informing me not to drink the water and to rush out ASAP to grab some (talk about rubbing salt in the wound) I knew what I had to do. I knew it would not be easy. I knew I would have to take a huge piece of humble pie…well, maybe more like the entire pie. I made a call. I called….I called my water bottle loving momma! And she hooked a girl up! She said we were more than welcomed to her bottled waters, disposable dishes, utensils, etc. And not once did she make mention of my green and sustainable ways not being conducive to the situation or say her way was right, nope, because she is one of the most classy, remarkable people I know…always willing to help, to lend a hand, to build you up. Yep, my water bottle loving momma saved this green and sustainable preaching momma, turns out we might just need each other after all, who knew! And hopefully all her consumption and my conserving will somehow balance out in the end, maybe?!
It Kills me to admit….But I had to….I confess….
So this ‘go green’ momma used disposable dishes and utensil because we were not able to use the water to clean our dishes. Used wet wipes as baths for the kids. Hand sanitizer to wash hands. I used paper towels to clean up spills (dog pee) because we couldn’t use hot water to do laundry. And more bottled waters than I would like to admit to in order for the family to drink, dog to drink, and use for anything else…cooking, cleaning, brushing teeth. It kills me to look at the picture of all those items that go against a green and sustainable lifestyle. But I must admit a little wine in the evening and iced coffee in the morning made the experience much more manageable. And the people, oh, the people in Toledo and the surrounding area were absolutely amazing!!
A Huge thank you to everyone who offered their home to us to get showered/cleaned up, who offered water and other necessities, and to all those who helped others, your generosity truly warmed my heart. After witnessing all the kindness bestowed on neighbors this past weekend it has definitely confirmed what I already knew, Toledo is a great place to live because of the people!! God Bless all of you!