Water: (2011) by Mary & Nancy

Mary: We received a call from Todd and it wasn't good news. There was no water in the house at the farm. At first, Todd could get a little from the hydrant by the barn, but that only lasted a couple days. We planned to replace the pump, but then the water became slightly sandy. It seemed that not only was the pump failing, which didn't surprise us, but the well was collapsing. Thankfully, the pump continued to put out a slow stream at the hydrant closest to the well where it had a straight shot, but there was always a concern it would stop altogether. If so, what would they do? Wayne, who would oversee the whole job, and a nice, well-educated person, became someone who Todd enjoyed talking to and learning from. Unfortunately, he couldn't do anything until the ground thawed.  

Nancy: We lost water February 1st. and didn't get it back until March 14th. Forty-two days! All that time, Todd carried water to the animals and the house, (Erin did some, also), and estimates he carried about 1,500 gallons - equal to about six tons - in the cold - and up hill. He bought two special buckets that were rectangular instead of round, and with a covered top.
During this time, we learned to conserve water, using the least amount possible to wash and rinse dishes, and then flushing the stools with it afterwards. Sometimes, I tried to plan meals according to how much water it would take to cook it and to use as few dishes as possible. We did the laundry in town. 

We rigged a heat lamp over the shower curtain to help warm up the area for our sponge baths. I got up 20 minutes before Erin, heated her "shower water," and helped her wash her hair before she went to school. I made a couple visits to the city and got to take a "real" shower, but Todd, on the other hand, went 40 days.

The one week it warmed up in February and the well-diggers could have drilled for water, they were all out of town at a well-digger's conference!

Todd never complained about carrying water until about day 35.  For me, It was about the same time, and when we expected them to do something that didn't turn out. I was so disappointed.

Mary: We went to the farm for a weekend twice during that time, and it was surprising how easily we adjusted. Todd, Nancy, and Erin had amazing, uncomplaining attitudes.  

Winter seemed such a terrible time for this to happen as the ground was frozen and prevented work. However, I'm writing this after planting season, and Larry has remarked more than once that if it had happened during the summer, the many gardens could have died, and the trenching inconvenient to go around them.  

Quote:  We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. Thomas Fuller

My mother's tutorial of a sponge bath in her day:  

You start at the top and wash down as far as possible. 

You start at the bottom and wash up as far as possible. 

Then, you wash possible!

                                                               Ends well

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