Shae and I woke up this morning with the rare feeling that we’d be able to roll out of bed, casually do some chores, and then have a slow breakfast of sourdough pancakes that would lead leisurely into a couple of projects and prototypes we’ve been meaning to get to.
All of that changed when nothing happened...when I turned on the water faucet, and nothing happened.
This is an old ranch, and the home we are living in is way up on a hill and relies on this old ranch’s water system to get us water every day. It’s not really the most ingenious design, but it’s what we have to work with and today it wasn’t working at all.
We checked all of the pumps and the tanks and realized that the pumps were working fine, but that the tank that feeds the house was missing about 500 gallons of water. Where did it go?
We spent the better part of the morning pacing the heavily overgrown water line, trudging up and down the hill, scraping our way through poison oak and blackberries, and coming up again and again empty handed. Finally we turned on the system to listen for any leaks and right in the middle of the biggest and thorniest thistle patch I’ve seen there came, of course, a gurgling sound.
So out came the machete and the shovels and away we went. What was a bit frustrating was this leak was actually caused by a broken repair from god knows how long ago, and there were very clear indications that it had been fudged a bit then because there was debris and sand that had been added to the hole to keep the water line balancing in a specific position. Obviously that didn’t work.
The best part of the day was after soaking my pants and boots in order to learn that even when the pump is off water pressure will stick around, we found a second leak. What ensued was an inspired choreography set to the Benny Hill theme song where one break in the line would cease leaking and the other, which had just been fine, would explode.
I actually am not writing this to complain or garner any pity. The take away from this post is that we’d be without water, cold, tired, and frustrated if it wasn’t for our neighbor Laco, who gave up his day off to help us, and Shae’s father, Phil, who charitably stayed an extra day to see just how dirty he could get his clothes.
The basic fact behind all of this is that we need these people and all the people who have helped us and will help us. Put plainly and simply this is about as far from self-sufficiency as we can get. We are relying on a lot of people, but I know we are on the right track because every day people are relying on us just a bit more. It’s coming slowly, but it’s certainly there and I really must say it’s amazing to know that when someone comes to help me through a crisis, they know I’d do the exact same for them.
So instead, I am writing this feeling cold and tired, but with a relationship with my neighbor and father-in-law that’s a bit closer, a deeper understanding of plumbing and water systems, and the expectation of a warm shower. Who could ask for more?
P.S. I could ask for a bit more. Shae and I are off to the Court House to get married on Tuesday!