Living in the Pacific Northwest, I am sorely tempted to say that I am sick of rain. Gray skies, constant drizzle, puddles everywhere, sodden earth that slips and slides creating minor difficulties at least, and at worst - havoc. Rivers and lakes have swollen, flooded, and created no end of heartache for those who live too near them. What began before Christmas continues into February, and I’m ready to cry “Uncle”!
A few years ago we had a new metal roof installed, so it no longer leaks - mostly. We still have a few problem areas on our kitchen and living room ceilings, probably the result of poorly-suited skylights. We think we have it figured out now, but the next repairs with be the third (fourth? fifth?) go-round, so all bets are off. We’re fortunate in that we’ve never had a problem in our basement, however. All in all, our water problems are relatively minor.
Ironically, since moving here 30 years ago, we’ve tried never to waste the water that we use. That means doing only full loads of clothes and dishes, not letting water run longer than necessary, flow restrictors on all faucets, limited toilet flushings at night. Large amounts of water left from canning or other uses are carried outside to water protected flower beds or potted plants. Sounds a bit eccentric, I know, but there is a legitimate reason.
As young married, we lived at a 7,400 feet altitude in a rural area of Colorado. Our well was not very deep and recovered slowly when drained. Consequently, we soon learned never to wash more than one load of clothes a day. We had no dryer, so that single load was hung outdoors or draped inside in the winter. No dishwasher either, so dishes were also done in one washing. We adapted - water was seldom, if ever, simply allowed to run.
In Idaho, our well was deep but it was old and its pipe corroded, so the pump could only be lowered so far. One year, a severe drought lowered the water table so that the pump could no longer reach it. A kind neighbor ran a long hose from their house to ours, so we could survive until a new well was drilled. Drilling began, but it was not long before they hit a problem - a huge boulder. Slowly, the drill pounded through what proved to be 20 feet of solid granite. I remember the awful THUD - THUD shaking the whole house, as dollar signs flashed before my eyes. Our savings were small and there was no guarantee that another boulder did not lie beneath that one. Luckily, there was only one and eventually we had ample, sweet-flowing water. Our bank account was much less, but as the saying goes “it was only money”...
We have not lived in a true desert, nor ever been totally without access to water. But we have learned that it is not always easy to come by. Nor should it be taken for granted, ever. Try going just one day without it - no brushing your teeth, bathing, laundry, dish washing, flushing, coffee, tea, milk or soda, No wine. Try two days, three, or more....
I am tired of rain, but I will not complain.
Water is far too precious.