Friday, October 22, 2010

Well! It's about time for an update!

Has it really been over two weeks since my last post? Life has been THAT busy. Between the normal work busy-ness, Calvin's football games, Starflower's volleyball games, Mr. Attitude's piano lessons, play rehearsals that sometimes last until 10 pm, and a weekend trip to Nebraska, I have hardly had time to breathe. But for me, that's a good thing. Sometimes I have a tendency to get mired in stillness and reflection. In a month, after the final curtain call, I will have more than enough time to sit in front of the wood stove and contemplate life. Hopefully I'll have the energy at night to pick up a musical instrument and do what I love.

We had a wonderful, if all too short, trip to Lincoln, Nebraska for my stepdaughter Sarah's wedding two weeks ago. It was fun to be "on the road again", fun to see my extended family all there, and fun to have a reason to get dressed up and curl my hair! Lincoln seems like a nice city, and I hope to visit there again when I have more time to see the area.

When we returned home all road weary at 9 pm that Sunday, I went out to the well to get a jug of drinking water. When I turned on the faucet, nothing happened. No water, no pump turning on, nothing. The Hermit and I drove that shallow sand point well by ourselves about fifteen years ago when this place was just our weekend getaway. It originally had a hand pump, but when we moved here nearly eight years ago we installed an electric pump and pressure tank, which were run by generator power until we got electricity. The well had given us years of reliable, clear water, but in the last couple of weeks something had changed. The pump would no longer hold its prime, and the water had sediment in it. I don't know exactly what happened, but it was a bit disconcerting, to say the least, to suddenly be without a source of water.

Our plan had always been to drive a new shallow well in the 8 x 8 basement in the house. The Hermit and a neighbor worked on it this summer without success; funny how water can be about 12 feet down by the cabin, but not by the house 200 feet away. But I think The Hermit shares my feelings of having had enough of this do-it-yourself-ness. We wanted water, and we wanted it now. So we borrowed some money from my dad, and had a well professionally drilled. With the economy as it is, the guy was available to come out and drill just two days after we called, on a Friday, and the water line to the house was completed the following Monday. We now have running water in the house, even if it is only a hose with a valve on the end. It makes all the difference!

It turns out we are sitting on a dream of an aquifer. Just 37 feet below the surface, in sandstone bedrock, the water flows at over 40 gallons per minute. If we lived just a mile to the south or east, across the Douglas Fault, the bedrock would be basalt and water would perhaps be much further down. There are no sources of pollution that I know of in our watershed, and the water is crystal clear.

I can't wait to get the plumbing finished, and water heater up and running! No more hillbilly showers

When the guy came with the backhoe to dig the water line to the house, he smoothed out a lot of the back yard. Starflower is contemplating a regulation-sized volleyball court there next summer. I'm all for it; from what I saw in her games, she has a lot of potential as a player. Her middle school team consisted of all sixth graders with little or no experience, yet they held their own and even won a few matches.

Here's Calvin, who is now officially as tall as me (5'7). He lives for football and pep band (and X box). He will be traveling to New York City in March for the St. Patrick's Day parade--our small town marching band was selected, the first band from Minnesota in many years! But today he was doing a necessary chore, hauling wood from the big pile out front to the house. We had our first fire in the wood stove a week ago, and while the fall has been mild, I know cold weather will come soon.

I have survived the first month of rehearsals for "Hello, Dolly!" It has been a lot more fun than I expected, mainly because of the people involved. I have made new friends and reconnected with a couple old friends. I have a new appreciation for all of the work that goes into a theatrical production. My favorite part is singing; just the other night I was very tired and not wanting to go to rehearsal, but after a few minutes of singing I found a new energy, and I was hitting all the high notes and getting into the whole stage character thing. But, for the time commitment reason, I won't be sad when it's over.

So there you have it. I didn't get to certain things, like my garden harvest, but I have the next two days free, so...


webb said...

What a huge accomplishment! Somehow running water symbolizes permanence and stability - at least for me - and in time for winter, too. Hope you thoroughly enjoy it!

Pablo said...

Wow, I wish I had running water in my cabin. We have to haul out every drop we drink when we're there. And washing is a serious drain on that supply.

I think the aquafer is much deeper in my part of the Ozarks. If I remember correctly, my neighbor had to go down 400+ feet to get drinkable water. (There was some sulfur-laden stuff closer to the surface.)

I have a friend who destroyed her knees by playing volleyball too rigorously. She's in her early 40s and hobbles around like a cripple, which I guess she is. So make sure Starflower wears kneepads!

Glad you found a chance to make a post!

Lausten North said...

I love working around the house, but dealing with a sand point well was beyond my abilities. Maybe I could have kept it working, but I just couldn't get motivated to pull up pipe, or add pipe or whatever else I might I have needed to do. Good luck to the kids in their various sporting activities.

Floridacracker said...

Love your updates!
You are so busy and I so enjoy watching you run around being a good Mom taxi.

Great water is priceless. Glad that worked out for you.

Break a leg!

Jayne said...

Glad you were able to get that well drilled and that you have running water now... yea! Looking forward to hearing about the band trip! Did they raise all the money they need yet? Sam and I are going to the matinee performance of Annie today at 1PM. My choir director also has a community theater company and many choir members are in his productions. It seems like a good bit of fun... but as you said, work and time commitment!

Deb said...

webb- I'm enjoying it already! It was such a pain hauling jugs of water from the sand point well to the house.

Pablo- One of The Hermit's friends, who lives about 40 miles north of us, had to go down 400 feet or more. After the first 50 feet they charge by the foot, so that would get pricey fast. Have you considered a rainwater collection system? I know how hard it is hauling water...been there, done that.
Knee pads are definitely required equipment for volleyball. I worry more about Calvin playing football, with all the possibilities for knee injuries and concussions.

LN- The nice thing is, we won't have to pay for electricity to keep the well house from freezing this winter. That adds up fast! We're done with sports for the time being, but basketball season is just around the corner...

FC- Are you going through dad taxi withdrawal yet? :) I'm glad I have kids who want to be involved in sports, music, and drama with no extra urging from me!

Jayne- It sounds like the trip is a sure thing...thanks so much for your support! :)