Two things we've learned from this measured use: 1) It takes about 4 gallons to do a sink full of dishes (rinsing uses the lion's share); and 2) Three cups boiled plus one cup cold mixed together in a basin are enough for a good, hot face wash and shave or one sponge bath.
(Luckily, my daughter and I don't have a lot of hair to wash.)
Lesson 4: I'm a big sissy. I've recently had reason to maybe reconsider my aversion to the funny-smelling stuff coming out of our faucets.
I learned the other day that my buddy Pete, who was raised in the Kanawha Valley, hasn't stopped drinking or bathing in city water since the Do Not Drink advisory was issued back on Jan. 9.
His reasoning, according to his mother-in-law, was that he'd been swimming the mighty Kanawha River since before there was an Environmental Protection Agency. If he'd managed to survive a pre-regulatory age tributary flowing through Chemical Valley, a little licorice water wasn't going to hurt him.
I can appreciate his rationale and city boy bravado. I might even think he's probably right. But I'm soft and averse to risk. And I'm not from here. And my wife would kill me if she caught me drinking it.
Lesson 5: To err is human. Just about every day, I focus in The Lord's Prayer on forgiving those in our debt. I think about those to whom I have given offense and those who have given offense to me, and how willing I am to forgive them if I myself am to be forgiven.
To be truthful, I'm still hoping to learn how to forgive the people responsible for the way my family and I are living now.
Maramba is Daily Mail managing editor. His email address is http://www.charlestondailymail.com/Opinion/philmaramba/contact/Cuvyvc+qnvylznvyji+pbz+return=/Opinion/philmaramba/201401240086?page=2&build=cache.