So. This cottage of ours. It doesn’t have running water. And we’re ok with that. Here’s how it works:
Bathing. We take our daily baths in the lake. Well, at least in the summer. Mike will go in the water from April through October. For me, it’s June through early September. Otherwise, a sponge bath will have to do. But, in the summer, I love getting in the lake first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It’s so refreshing.
Washing Dishes. We boil lake water for this. We use two basins of water – one for washing and the other for rinsing. Washing goes quickly this way without having to constantly turn water on and off.
Drinking and cooking. Our neighbors graciously allow us to get well water from their outdoor spigot. We fill a five gallon jug and place it in a swinging holder that we found at a garage sale. This allows the jug to easily tilt to fill glass jars. The large jug is kept ouside on the back porch and the glass jars are brought inside. Some go into the fridge and some are left on the counter.
Bathroom. We have an outhouse. What can I say? We keep it clean, light a candle, and do what we have to do quickly, so it’s not so bad.
Handwashing. Outside the outhouse, we have a nice system for hand washing. My sister showed us how to set this up after she learned about it at Girl Scout Camp. We strung a rope between two trees and put a hook in one of the trees. A towel hangs on the rope and a plastic jug filled with lake water hangs on the hook. We poked a hole in the bottom of the jug which is plugged with a large nail. One end of a string is attached to the nail and the other end is attached to the neck of the jug to keep the nail from getting lost. A bar of soap goes into the toe of a woman’s nylon knee-high and the top of the knee-high is tied to the rope. When it’s time to wash our hands, we remove the nail, wet our hands and soap them up. We rinse, replace the nail and use the towel to dry. In the house, I always keep a basin of lake water in the sink for hand washing and change it frequently.
Brushing Teeth. We fill a glass with drinking water and dip the brush in it to wet. We apply toothpaste and brush as usual. Then we rinse with water from the glass and swish the brush in the remaining water to clean. It doesn’t seem like it would be necessary to explain this, but overnight guests often ask this question.
That’s it! Easier than you thought, right? Oh, I almost forgot. Here’s how Gabe gets his water: