Thursday, March 30, 2006


I still cannot get over the fact that, when I turn a little knob in my kitchen, water comes out a pipe. The strange thing is that the water gets magically drawn from a well beneath the ground, and it comes up. People in the know tell me it has something to do with a pump, but I don’t care for the details; spare me them, please. I only care that I am in awe of water that comes up from a pipe and into my home when I want it to.

Historically, it was not always this way. There was a day when people had to travel with buckets to a community well, draw, take the sloshing container home, pour it into a cistern, then return to the well maybe sixteen more times, depending on how often the family planned to run the dishwasher. People bathed in rivers back then as well—which reminds me!

There is a miraculous little cubicle in my upstairs bathroom, enclosed by a curtain, containing a nozzle such as the one in my kitchen, only bigger and higher—situated over my head. The nozzle is unique in that someone has drilled lots of little holes into it. But you haven’t heard anything yet. There are two knobs in this cubicle, same as in the kitchen, and when I turn the left knob to the left, hot water comes from the nozzle. Hot water! Hot water with which I bathe! People in the know tell me that this has something to do with a water heater and, once again, a pump. But once again, I do not care to hear about it. It’s a miracle, and that’s the end of it.

Do you realize that, in days not long past, not even the palaces of kings contained such amenities? But if I told you of all the other luxuries in my home, you would blush. It is nearly sinful, what I possess.

My family is spared the trouble of gathering bits of wood to light fires under black stinky pots for cooking purposes. That’s right. Instead—are you ready for this?—we have a flat area on our countertop that, when other little knobs similar to those which operate the water are turned, make various parts of the countertop heat up. And the heated parts light up in the exact shapes of the bottoms of our pans. And the heat is hot enough to cook on!

I can no longer be quiet about any of this; I am too aroused by it all. Concerning physical, tangible blessings, Scripture says that with food and shelter we should be sufficed. So you can see that, even with the little I have told you about, I am blessed above and beyond measure. I will say no more. For if I told you of the means by which I answer nature’s call—indoors—and evacuate it from the premises—you would simply not believe me. You would hate me.

I am too ashamed of my wealth to tell you about it.

© 2006 by Martin Zender