Thursday, March 31, 2011

Silver lining

OK... So, I vow to be positive here.  Yes, I'll be very, very positive.  Look on the bright side, as it were.  Walk on the sunny side of the street.  See the cup half full.  Find the silver lining....

I was very productive today.  I got lots done outside despite the pouring rain.  I flat out refused to wear a raincoat, thinking, "If I don't put on a raincoat, it'll stop raining".  Hmm... sometimes that works.  Not today, but that didn't slow me down.  I continued turning compost, hauling woodchips, laying new bedding in the coop, slipping in the mud, and making new ruts in the yard with the wheelbarrow.  Yes, we have reached complete saturation here on the Olympic Peninsula... when the earth cannot hold a single drop more water.  The ground feels like pudding beneath my feet.  Every step is slightly risky since my feet may going flying out from under me as they slide helplessly through the slimy, slippery, saturated mud. Ahh... dear sweet Western Washington, oh how I love your unbelievably uncanny rainfall.

So, come 4:30 this afternoon, it was time for me to wash up and get ready to take Sequoia to gymnastics again.  I waded through the mud, looking like a drowned rat in my wool sweater, to the laundry/mud room and peeled off layers of wet clothes.  I breathed a delighted sigh of cozy relief as I stepped into the warm shower to soak my chilled and soggy bones.  I leaned deeply into the steaming stream and... it fizzled away.  Just like that.  Water one second, gone the next.

Yes, dear friends, our well failed.  I can't help but note the irony that it hasn't stopped raining in weeks (with the one day exception last week).  There is so much water everywhere, and yet my well is done.
N o t   a   s i n g l e   d r o p.  Ha!!!  That's right!

I guess I should restate the situation.  Bright side, after all.  Our well did not fail, just the well pump.  Actually, we don't really know that for sure until we replace the pump.  So, we can either pull the pump (and pipe) up 275 feet out of the ground and replace it and hope that it just failed on its own and not because the well is actually dry, or we can drill a new well.  Problem with solution number one: we are at saturation level in our neck of the woods and the boom truck required for the job can't get to the well without sinking.  Therefore, it would require being hauled in and out with a bulldozer ($$$)... and there is no guarantee that replacing the pump would solve the problem!  Yeesh!  Problem with solution number two: drilling a 275+ foot well in a mountain comprised of solid rock ain't cheap either.  We are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  For real.

OK.. so positive perspective.  Right.  That's what I need right now.

The kids had a blast doing things "olden days" style this evening!  You know, boiling water for washing dishes and things.  It's lovely timing since I had actually planned a trip to our local Pioneer Museum for next week - that's where Cedar is at with his US History studies.  See, the universe just handed me a curriculum enhancement learning opportunity.  That's all!

Literally 20 minutes before the well failed Steve and I had been discussing a desire to set up an outdoor/outhouse style composting toilet; a project that would have taken us forever to get to.  Now I have a plan to work on it first thing tomorrow morning!  (Along with a bucket with wood shavings for use in the house during the night.)

I got a much needed reminder that I am quite happy to live just a couple miles from where I work and that I have a great boss who is so understanding and helpful in times of need.  I was able to zip on down to the farm for jugs of water for drinking and dishes.

I also got a gentle nudge in the direction of our permaculture pursuits.  See, in permaculture design, the needs for basic infrastructure (such as water) are met in various ways.  In other words, plan for disaster and design for it.  It's prudent for one to incorporate several water sources into one's overall infrastructure.  With all of the changes that have been happening around the homestead lately, I have been thinking a lot about the big picture design for our little piece of land.  Now, thanks to this little snafu, I have a bit more to think about!

Honestly, it's nice to have reminders.  Yeah mama, get back to the basics.  Remember just how sweet it is to have flowing water at my fingertips.  Find strength and gratitude in simple things like pooping in the woods rather than in our most valuable natural resource.
Hmm... silly, but a silver lining, nonetheless.


  1. What a wonderful reminder! of the simply things.. We are bracing for an April Fool's Day Snow Storm.. you might remember the one we have in 1997 when Steven was up in Maine with you and had to get home to work... and snow storm knocked out our electric- which meant no water- toilets or anything and we had to flash the bowls with melting!! We played cards and games by candlelight..try that some time, it is really fun! No TV - it was great!! Steven made it back to Rhinebeck in that strom, boy was I worried about him driving in that mess, only to tell me, because we were going to be without power for a week or more (it was really bad around here) that he wanted to get back to Maine and of course his love -YOU!! You know the rest of that story.. love that you are looking for that silver lining because there is always one to find!! what a great lesson for the children too! Remember "this to shall pass" it always does! Hugs