Monday, February 17, 2014

Carrying Water

Only as an adult did I realize that my family spent every Sunday at my grandparents’, not so I could play outside or hang with my cousins, but so we could help Grandma and Grandpa carry water from the spring for the week.

My grandparents did not have running water until the last year of my Grandfather’s life.  That means they had no hot water heater, and hence no hot water save what was boiled on the stove.

It means they had no toilet.  They used a chamber pot and had an outhouse.

They were spare people – spare of material goods, spare of waste, spare of words.

They appreciated the cost of everything.

Two generations later, I find myself part of a wasteful generation that throws things away rather than repairs them; that lets the water run simply to let it run; that uses drinking water to flush away its waste (something that puzzles many of my friends from other parts of the world).

I have completed my grandparents’ cycle in some ways, having returned from town life to country life, and yet, even now, I find myself in a tiny village held captive by the water ways of modern life, as we had to stop drinking from the flowing waters (not clean enough) and drink from treated wells, only to find the treated wells contaminated and unusable and having no other source of water because the other sources have been cut off from us – and it’s been thus for over a year now, that we’re supposed to be boiling our water for all purposes (save showering, I suppose).

Turns out when it comes to water, I’m living more like my grandma than the people of my own time.  How’s that for ironic, Grandma?


  1. It's sad but true that this is happening all over the country. Here in Texas many small towns' water supplies are drying up or contaminated. Fracking is a big cause of late. We must do more for ourselves, as we are not a third world country where others will come to help us out. It doesn't seem to be concerning our politicians.


  2. Marilyn, My mom just shared on FB that I posted to the church's page a wonderful video short on how the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone has had a positive effect on its waterways. I marvel at the interconnectedness of creation and wonder that we aren't more mindful as a people of the delicate balance of our world. Sigh. Lord, help me be a better steward. Hugs, Beth

  3. Although I am not on FB, I will look at the video. - "Interconnectedness".. Ah, yes, every living thing. A minister once told me to "Imagine yourself a fish. God is the very water you swim in." It is hard not to see the interconnectedness. I love your insights. More peace and love, Marilyn