A Day Without Running Water

I scooped water into the five gallon buckets from the pond and carried them back to the house, thinking of all the stories I’ve heard of people traveling miles everyday for their drinking water.

I thought of the people in Alabama, after one of the hurricanes(I can’t remember which one), who had to line up for water deliveries that were meager and scarce.  I thought of the people in Flint, Michigan who for years haven’t been able to drink or bathe in the water that comes out of their faucets.  And the people in my neighboring town of Hoosick Falls whose water is contaminated.

This is how my mind works.  When something goes wrong I think how much worse it could actually be. I think it’s a survival mechanism, to try and find the positives in the situation.  A way of telling myself it’s not so bad, that we’ll be okay.

We may not have water in our home, but we have access to water.

Last night, as I was washing the dinner dishes, I noticed a drop in the water pressure coming out of the faucet.

A couple of weeks ago we lost our water completely and were lucky enough to find a plumber who would come to our house on a Friday night and  fix the problem.

But it was a temporary fix.

Last night,  our 40 year old water pump  died.  Which is actually a good thing.  That means the Point (a shallow well) that we get our water from isn’t dried up and we don’t have to dig a new well.

At times like these, Jon’s good at making the phone calls to get someone to fix the problem and I’m good at figuring out what we need to do to get through the day or days without water.

We have woodstoves downstairs  and electric heat upstairs, so as long as the water that may still be in the baseboard heating pipes doesn’t freeze, we should be okay.  We have a pond and a stream for the animals to drink from and for us  to get water from so we can flush the toilet.

We can buy water at the market in town or get it from friends.  We can even shower at friends homes if it goes on for a long time.

We had enough bottled water in the house to, brush our teeth,  have tea with breakfast and to keep the dogs water bowl full. The dishes can wait.

I’m realizing how often I actually wash my hands.

I’m seeing how natural it is to turn the faucet and expect  clean water to come rushing out.  It’s just like the expectation of flicking a switch and having light in the darkness.

Jon just called me from the house (I’m in my studio) and told me our friend and handyman, Jay Bridge is out getting us a new waterpump right now.  We should have running water back by this evening.

So we’ll have lunch and get back to work.  I’ll go to Bellydancing class tonight and we’ll pick up my wool in Vermont tomorrow morning.

Something that could have been a lot more trouble and expense, especially with the promise of winter snow storms and single digit temperatures coming this weekend, has been averted.

By this evening, when I turn on the faucet to wash the dishes,  and water comes rushing out, when I turn up the heat and hear the hot water running thought the baseboards, I’ll completely  forget that for a day and a night we had no running water.

And life will go on as if nothing unusual at all happened.


11 thoughts on “A Day Without Running Water

  1. Good Morning Maria,
    I loved your post about the water. I have never lived on a farm or had farm animals to care for but I have spent some of my life in alternative living conditions, a houseboat for some years and the last 35 years in a place that can get some treacherous winter weather. I know the trials of frozen pipes and no running water. As I read your post I counted my blessing that today that is not true for me. In fact we are having a blessedly mild winter. More important what your post brought to mind was a documentary I saw watched last week titled, My Name is Water. I just rented the DVD from the library. It is such a remarkable story. You will cry all the way through it. I hope you can find it somewhere and are interested in watching. Been sending you and Jon and the farm much light as the drama unfolds with the water pump, hoping that it is resolved before the day is done. Blessings, Wendy

    1. Oh living on a houseboat I’ve always wondered what that’s like. I’m glad you’re not in such places where all these things happen anymore Wendy. The movie sounds very interesting I’ll check it out. Thanks!

  2. Oh, Maria, you shine such a bright light in this world, and it is full of hope and positivity. I am so relieved the problem is only the pump, and what a great helper Jay is, too!
    Focusing on flowing water and long drinks for all of you at Bedlam Farm by this evening.

    1. Well Marcia, I’m not always so bright. I think it’s just a way of coping, of thinking it’s not so bad, and we’ll be alright. Thanks for your well wishes.

  3. Ah, the grubbiness. I remember it well. Our supply line froze last January. Took three days to thaw it out . We melted snow for the animals. And then ran out of propane for the stove.
    John Denver was wrong. Life on the farm ain’t kinda laid back.
    It’s a struggle. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

  4. As someone who also relies on a well, I was thinking how jealous I was of your stream! Unless it’s irrigation season here (which doesn’t start until spring and only lasts as long as the mountain runoff does) and the acequias are full, there’s no running water to be had. The Rio Grande isn’t all that grande anymore. And my water table is more than a hundred feet down (and dropping every year). Water is not to be taken for granted, as least here in the Southwest.

    1. We’re very lucky in this part of the country when it comes to water Jill. Our 17 acres have wetlands, a stream and a pond. And yet the house and barn are built up on high ground, so there’s little chance of flooding. Years ago I was looking at houses outside of Taos NM and asked about the arroyo running in front of the house. I was worried about flooding. I found out it’s just the opposite, how precious the water is that runs thought it when it does and all about water rights in that part of the country. I’ve never forgotten it.

  5. Dear Maria, Like you, I am AMAZED and THANKFUL when I turn on the faucet and clean water pours forth! On farms everyone knows the struggle to get water to animals from time to time. Annie

  6. P.S. I must have hit the wrong key and wiped out the last sentence of my message which was: All of us on farms struggle to get water to animals from time to time, but having NO WATER in the HOUSE is rare and very difficult esp when your HEATING SYSTEM depends on water, too!! SO GLAD THE WATER IS BACK ON BEFORE THE BIG STORM!! Annie

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