Monday, August 13, 2012

Stinking Hot

I was on a roll yesterday when listing my litany of what constitutes stinking hot weather, but stopped too soon by miles.  So I'm now adding...

Last night's sunset (Bruce's picture)
Stinking hot is so hot that, as I'm watering the first of six garden beds, the water reduces to a trickle and then I'm left standing holding a limp hose while the sun beats down on my head.

Stinking hot is so hot that the well is still recharging at 11:00 pm and the only water we have is in the small tank on the hill and two small plastic jugs in the house.

Stinking hot is filling the duck waterers from the tank on the hill.

Stinking hot is sitting in the house watching the Olympics closing ceremonies while coated with the filth and sweat of a day spent outside working in Frogpond dirt and not being able to take a shower.

Stinking hot is Bruce and I (along with three dogs, a cat and a curious horse) making the long walk down to the end of the lower pasture in the dark to check on how the tank is filling.

Stinking hot is shining a flashlight down into the top of the tank and discovering that it's only a fourth full.

Stinking hot is finally giving up on our getting water that night and bringing a pot of water into the shower and doing my best to wash off the worst of the day's grime.

Stinking hot is the water gurgling back into the taps just as I'm drying off.

Stinking hot is when you've just had five days of over 100 degree heat, and the forecast is for at least five more days of the same.

Stinking hot is a forecast for a hotter day tomorrow than today.

Most of all, stinking hot is worrying and fretting about our well situation for the remainder of the summer.  Friends who live in areas with summer rain or who have city water that's always available at the turn of a handle often don't get my obsession with water or why I bite my nails after a dry winter. It's because of what's happening right now:  the water table is unable to sustain our well, the pond shrinks down to a puddle, and the garden dries up.  In short, without water, things die.

This morning I'm carefully watering the gardens I didn't get to yesterday.  Then I'll take a short shower to wash my hair before going to work in my classroom for the rest of the day.  Bruce will be calling for a water truck to fill our tank, which we'll have them do on a regular basis.  When it's stinking hot, you do what you must do in order to keep things going.

I so wish it had rained last winter.   

There -- I got it all out.  I also must add that for us this shortage of water, while a misfortune, doesn't impact our livelihood or ability to put food on the table.  We still have our day jobs and the ability to buy enough water for our needs to tide us over until next winter.  For farmers, ranchers and others who depend upon water to earn their living (or, more fundamental than that, to simply stay alive), lack of water is a disaster on multiple levels.  My heart goes out to them.

I'll admit that I've been feeling just a bit silly lately for confessing on this blog that when it rains I go out to dance in it.  That feeling's been banished:  next time it rains, joyful middle-aged me will be out there, barefoot and twirling in the raindrops.  And that's a promise.

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