Wednesday, September 1, 2010

God is Good !!

It’s 10:30 AM and so far we have registered slightly over 2.5 inches of water in the rain gauge. Our faithful readers may now rejoice with us for this boon which breaks a month long drought. We had no (that would be 0” precipitation during August) hint of moisture in any of its varied configurations.

For readers, dependent upon a fully staffed and adequately supplied municipal water system, our concerns must seem bizarre. It’s a “living in the woods” thing. Don’t misunderstand and think we would trade for “store bought” water. One of the things I did when I first looked at the property was go to the kitchen sink, cup my hand and draw enough water to taste. The former owners appeared amused by that action but it was the clincher on the deal.

It was cool, clear, tasteless and reminiscent of the water I remembered from my distant youth. It had the natural purity which can only be obtained by seeping down through hundreds of feet of sandstone and other less stable rock to more solid formations in the “basement” rock of the aquifer below. This barrier is about three hundred feet down. Thus contained from below it becomes a characteristic “artesian” in the Ozark Aquifer.

In a tiny well house behind the main dwelling, we find a simple set up. The water, elevated from the well by a submersible pump is drawn directly to a 50 gallon pressure tank with an adjustable setting which is then fed to a central system in the house and the outside faucets an hydrants. To cope with occasional periods of sub-zero weather, the well house has a 100 watt bulb which operates 24/7 in winter and maintains the interior temperature at about 45°. During the more temperate periods this cement block house (five high) is well insulated and provides a home to a large family of wasps which nests in the eaves.

Four fifty foot hoses, when joined, then allow possible irrigation in a 200’ radius. That equates to a coverage area of 2.77 acres. Anything beyond that scope is then dependent upon natural rain for additional growth and “greening.”

We are fortunate to live very close to the originating spring for the adjacent river—less than five miles. Another lesser spring is even closer and allows us to measure the actions of the well concealed aquifer. Throughout August, with no rain, the river has continued to flow; albeit reduced, but never dry.

(UPDATE: The gauge at 11:30 AM now shows 3.7” and the rain continues.)

The lessons learned in this experience will serve us well for the future. Even though our well never faltered through this prolonged dry spell, we have exercised conservation measures on water usage. For example, we learned of settings on the dishwasher which use about half the normal requirements. Some articles of clothing may be worn more than one day and no load was washed that was not full. Prioritizing necessary suffering plants (grapes, ivies, hydrangea, tomatoes, etc.) for life sustaining irrigation became a studied art. Long, slow showers became a luxury we could not afford. The Explorers are now cleaned of their accumulated soil by natural means. We also learned to practice an automatic revulsion to touching any of our large number of faucet handles. The greatest lesson has been not to take for granted the gifts which the Lord provides.

Since the river runs extremely close to the exit road from the property in both directions, we are now faced with the possibility of isolation by flood. Occasionally in the past, we have had this happen so it would be a predictable result of this life-giving rain. We are well-provisioned for the next few days and Granny is not scheduled to work until Friday so we are well prepared to just “hunker down.” Now, or at least by the weekend, I will no doubt return to the business of mowing the four acre yard which it has not experienced since August 7th.

A quick review of national news reminds us that we are indeed, fortunate. Somewhere in the country at just about any given moment some location and its peoples are suffering from a natural disaster be it flood, fire, cyclone, tornado, extreme heat or cold, or in the case of New York—bedbugs. Granny brought an expression to our marriage from her upstate New York background which covers it all nicely—“You’ll have this.”

It’s 11:30 AM and I checked the gauge one last time before I close and found 4.4”. I best check with Granny and see if she remembers where I put the plans for the ark.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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