Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Keep Calm and Carry On

We woke up to our insulated water pipes frozen by the overnight temperatures in the teens.  This little discovery was especially frustrating because we thought we had the pipes weatherized well enough that we wouldn't be dealing with this issue.  At first we thought it was only a water hose from the 55 gallon storage barrels to the mobile that had frozen, but as the hours wore on we realized that the pipes in the house were also frozen. 

My Man stayed home from work to help trouble shoot and attempt to thaw the hose while Columbus grumbled that he was just sick of our water system.  In the last couple of weeks we did get a third power supply for our pump and that one died within 24 hours just like the other two did, so we are back to powering our water pump with a battery charger and we have no idea why they keep dying. 

In the mean time the barrels must be filled twice a day to get our whooping 200 or so gallons of water for the day and each time the hose from the well must be attached, then unattached and coiled back up and put in with the wood stove so that it doesn't freeze.  And then there are the clogs that must be unclogged, though we did get a new strainer that appears to be helping keep the clogs down.  And all of that is after living through months of hauling water from town, then the upgrade to the hose through the window with the garden sprayer on it for months more, until we finally got running water and then hot running water.

And you want to know what....a neighbor stopped by today to see if we wanted a 50 pound bag of rice that he didn't need (which was very nice of him) and while chatting he mentioned that he finally had running water and then started talking about his and another neighbors water systems and they are both getting water from hand dug wells.  The other neighbor is getting 25 freaking gallons an hour from digging a hole on their property....and here we are, the ones with a $3000.00 well and we can't get anywhere close to that many gallons in a day.  My Man and I both just stood there feeling like idiots as the neighbor went on to tell us that he had a 300 gallon water storage tank that is full of water and the other neighbor has two of them. 

Both My Man and I are feeling pretty stupid right about now.  Like there is some magic trick to this whole water thing that everyone but us gets.  We've paid the money, and our dues, for water and we're still struggling our way through, and then they just come along with a shovel and bam have more water than they know what to do with? 

I know that we shouldn't compare ourselves to them, but it's hard not to.  It's hard to watch them get something so important with what appears to be relative ease while we are sitting here with frozen pipes for the limited water that we do get.   It just makes us feel like we are doing everything all wrong and the hard way. 

After the neighbor left my doctors office called to tell me that my white blood cell count is actually higher than it was last week and so that they are putting me on a new prescription of antibiotics.  That was just another slap in the face because I am tired of being sick and I really thought I was better enough that I was on the road to recovery and in a few days would be back to normal. 

And so today we are feeling stuck in the land of winter with frozen pipes and limited water, and I am feeling trapped inside of a sick body.  It is 4:00 and 26 degrees outside, so I doubt we will be seeing any hot water today.  I can't do laundry and every time I turn on the space heater it trips the breaker. 

My Man took all of the kids to town with him to pickup my prescription and after they left I took a minute to think of all of the things that I am thankful for.  It was hard at first, because in the moment it feels like we are all standing on a suspension bridge and our combined weight exceeds the bridges limitations and so there is really nothing to do but hang on for dear life and then brace yourself.  And then I thought of yesterday as My Man and I walked into Walmart.  He took my hand into the warmth of his own, his grip tight, and I knew that he had me.  Not just in that moment, but inside of himself so deeply that right then, on the blacktop of a box store, I wasn't sure where he ended and I began.  And that's when I told myself to keep calm and carry on.