Water Bill Woes: Family Funny

Lisa Cherry —  March 2, 2012

Image courtesy of Fleur Suijten

By Lisa Cherry

We are determined to get our utility bills down this year. With ten people still in the house, it is critical that we keep our energy conservation efforts at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Dad has tried all kinds of rewards, and even a few discipline systems, like charging all family members a penny per light bulb if he comes home to lights left on. I am so proud of his efforts!  I just wish I could figure out how to make the big bucks difference for him.

I was asking him recently what he thought our next efforts of change ought to be. I wasn’t real happy with his response even though I knew he was right: shorten the showers.  With four teens and a 21-year-old in the house, I did not envy him on this one.

But he was quick to remind me that we hold the record for the largest water bill of any single residence on the Murdale Water District. They know us by name (and I am not kidding!)

I immediately envisioned an earlier era of our parenthood where we had a serious plumbing problem in our house and we had to limit all showers to 60 seconds or less. (90 seconds if you could prove your hair would still be soapy.)

This was before the kids were teens.  Dad donned his swimming suit and called the whole flustered family into the bathroom for a personal tutorial in quick showering.

Right now Dad is just saying “shorten up!” We haven’t gone for the demonstration or planted the timers in the bathrooms.  I sure hope the verbal admonishment works!

But don’t you think an “older” person probably needs some extra hot water therapy before facing her busy day? J