A Little Dry

Woke up to a cool, misty morning. Went to take a nice hot shower and… no water. Hmm. Living in thetrickle wilds of Kansas has its ups and downs. Some days both at the same time, when Mr Tornado comes calling. We have Rural Water, meaning we get our water from Winfield lake, which is about 4 miles east of our place. Normally, rural places have a well they draw from, and this place had at least 3 wells on it at one time. Then somebody, not Jed Clampett, but maybe a cousin of his, discovered oil on our place, back in 1950. They put the first oil well in Cowley County, Kansas, right out by our shop. About 75 feet from the house. If you’ve ever been around an oil well you’d note the smell and noise as the defining factors of the whole setup. And oil prices back in them days were nothing to brag about. But the folks that we bought the place from were not real picky about noise and smell, and thought it was just peachy to have free money coming out of the ground.

Did you know that back in the day, to pressurize the dinosaur squeezins out of the ground, they used a saline solution? Yep, salt water, getting pumped in the ground, pretty dang close to where your water well is and that didn’t cause anybody to go huh? Apparently not. Next thing you know, your drinking water is getting a bit gamey. By this time, the proverbial horse is out the barn door and heading to the lake for a fresh drink of water. They had a windmill for their drinking & washing water, right next to the house, like 10 feet away, and it took a while, but they had to shut it down. Too salty. The story then goes to 1970 something and the boys were out in the front pasture, digging a well by hand. Shovel and picks type digging. Wells here start at around 40 feet, so I’m not sure if anybody really thought the whole thing through. Maybe they were delirious from being thirsty. “Pa, how far down we gotta dig?” ” Shutup boy and keep digging.” “But I’m thirsty…” Anywho, a white pickup comes up the drive and Pa wanders over to see what’s up. The guy in the pickup truck says they are putting in rural water and do they want in on that. Pa squints a little and wonders if he’s hearing things. He ups and nods his head and says yup, and calls over to the boys to quit yer digging, we got water coming. And so they did. Do you know that when we bought the place, I found 2 rusted shovels and a pick head laying in a shallow hole out in the front pasture? Ya, the whole place has stories like that.

Oh yah, the Tax Assessors showed up the other day and after I convinced Sweet Pea not to take chunks bathout of the snooty chick, they decided to talk to the Mrs. The snooty chick mentioned that there are a lot of old stone buildings in the county, but ours is one of the few that is still lived in. Ya, if you don’t take care of things, they don’t stay nice. Speaking of which, here’s the finished downstairs bath. We pulled the weak sister toilet and are waiting for the water to come back so I can put in the commercial toilet. Why am I waiting for the water to come back on? I mean what’s the point if you can’t use it, right?

So the Mrs called and the rural water people said it’s a 6 inch main that is under a pond??? that broke and it will be maybe 2 days or so until we get our water back. Which is exactly what I told the wife when she was in town buying supplies. I told her to buy lots of gallons of water, in case it takes several days to get ours back. She pretty much yah yah’d me and brought home 2 gallon jugs of water and a 24 pack of bottles of water. I asked her if this was an oppositional defiance thing, or did she not think that washing up and flushing the toilet were a really big deal. You can never tell with former hippy chicks. Commune living and all that. Since we still had a tiny trickle of water left, I had her fill a couple of empty gallon jugs, while I went inspect our emergency water source.


What? You strain it, filter it, boil it and you’re golden. I have kept that thing filled ever since our horses found new homes. I haven’t been able to use it yet… but it’s nice knowing that I can if I have to. Whats a few hackberries and dead bugs. They just add flavor.

Oh, when the wife was in town, not buying water, she was walking up to the hardware store at the same time some old guy with a gimpy leg and a walker was. They reach the door and walk through together. Right inside the door is one of those rubber knobby floor mats. The gimpy dude looked down and said “That’s Braille for blind people so they know where the road is.” The old saying, very non-PC, goes “hire the handicapped, they’re fun to watch.” Apparently, they tell funny jokes, too. I just wish they wouldn’t take up the whole front half acre of parking.

Well, writing is sweaty work, and I can’t shower tonight unless it’s in the horse tank. Signing off for now.