I just passed the first anniversary of moving from the house I lived in for over twenty-five years in rural area near Sedona, Arizona. Throughout those years, because of the remoteness, I dealt with numerous challenges. Our rough dirt road dipped through a dry wash that would fill when it rained and prevent us from fording it. We had a fireplace that was our primary source of heat. Over the years, I carried dozens of cords of wood up steps into the house.
Another quirk of the area was that the electricity would fail out occasionally, from thunderstorms, a truck knocking over a power pole, or a squirrel getting up close and personal with a transformer. When that happened, of course, there was no heating (other than our fireplace) or cooling, and none of the conveniences of modern life that we’re accustomed to.
What was even more difficult was when the water stopped flowing. We were on a community well that had various problems. Twice it went dry, and our community had to dig a deeper well each time. For many of those years, the circuit breaker that allowed the electric current to power the pump would overload, and would switch off. As soon as the water tank went dry, our house, being high on the hill, was one of the first to become aware of that fact. Being without electricity is annoying, but being without water is upsetting. Our contemporary houses have no ability to compensate for no water, short of trucking it in.
Now that I’m living in a modern house, with central air conditioning and heating, living on a paved road, within walking distance of grocery stores, I’m finding life much easier. One of the lessons I learned from those years in rural Arizona was to be thankful for the most basic of modern conveniences. Things that most people take for granted, I’m grateful for. Being able to just turn up the heat, drive to my destination without worrying about whether the water in the wash is too high for me to leave, have water on demand and without worry is such a gift.
I no longer have to be on guard because at any moment something I counted on will be gone and I’ll have to make adjustments or alternative plans. And although I loved that area and my life there, I’m finding it enjoyable to put my energy into moving forward, rather than just trying to overcome the struggle.