Living in the country provides our family with abundant blessings.
The kids can and have raised animals for 4-H.
We have horses and dogs running around.
The sky at night is bright with stars.
Crickets and frogs sing their songs each night.
There are trees to climb, mud to play in, tractors to drive.
We can be noisy without affecting anyone as the closest neighbors are a field away...far enough to not be intrusive, but close enough to call on for help.
Drinking crisp, clean water directly from the earth is something everyone should be able to do.
Having water flow freely from the ground to irrigate our crops and quench our thirst is something that we can easily take for granted.
Our agricultural well has been putting out less water this summer than normal.
Given the drought conditions we have been living in, the fact that there is little to no snow left in the mountains and that this state has been unable to see fit to build or update water storage, we and most every other farmer or country dweller is hurting.
We had been praying that we would have enough water to get us through walnut harvest at the end of October.
We knew that a new well would be in our future, but with every driller in the valley having backlogs months long, (seriously...months) we kept nursing the irrigation on.
The trees are a source of our livelihood.
The crop is vital.
I got up last Sunday morning and when I turned on the kitchen faucet, discovered nothing happened.
It seems that irrigating the walnuts was dropping the domestic water level to under the level of that pump...and pumps don't like to suck air...and it had been out of water for a period of time without our knowledge.
Long story short.
The pump did start again last weekend once the trees were turned off and the water table rose enough.
It started again this morning, as well.
Now come the true blessings of living in the country...our neighbors.
We are situated about 1/4 mile from canal water.
We do not have a pipeline to that water.
Our neighbor farmer told us that we can use his canal water and when that stops flowing in a couple weeks, we can use HIS WELL water!
Another farmer friend called last week and said he was bringing his crew and pipe.
They will lay a temporary pipeline through our neighbor's orchard to our trees.
The pump company should arrive this week to lower our domestic pump which should solve that problem.
While we are simply band-aiding our water problems, we are grateful that we have band-aids to do so.
Not everyone is so lucky.
I discovered last week that my best friend and her family have lost their domestic well. She is the daughter and granddaughter of farmers.
Her outlook on their situation keeps mine upbeat, thankful and in perspective.
She said "I count my blessings that I'm not hiking a mile with a bucket everyday and that I don't need to worry about my children dying from drinking contaminated water.
This is an American inconvenience to not have running water in the house."
While it is a scary prospect, we will be okay in the end.
Watering the plants and grass will occur when possible...using a tank filled with the neighbor's water will suffice...and if not, plants and grass can be replaced.
The animals will be fine...
Showers can continue to be taken at my parent's home when needed.
Laundry done there as well.
Paper plates and plastic spoons make us feel that we are camping....
actually the supply of water makes us feel like we are camping....
in our own beds and air conditioning.
Things could be worse.
In the end, we will be fine...little less sleep and more stress than is ideal, but we will survive.