Late in the afternoon on the 23rd I was able to turn on the tap for the first time in a month! We are still working out some kinks- sediment in the pipes and water supply issues for tasks like laundry--but we have WATER!
We ended up boring another well, even though we'd have a more long term dependable water source if we had drilled. It would have only cost $250 dollars for the empty hole, had they not found a usable amount of water. Had that happened we would have drilled, but drilling would have cost around $10,000, and we'd have had to pay irrespective of whether or not they found water. They didn't get the amount of water that they life to have, but it is about 12 ft. of water, which is where we were at a few years ago before the drought. We are hoping that this will sustain us until we finally sell our house and land. We will continue to be very conservative in our water use, using rain water to flush most often and carrying on with our laundry-nazi policies.
A hearty thank you to everyone who has helped us over the past month. What could have been just an awful, awful time was instead transformed into a true testament to the goodness of people. Everyone's generosity has just moved me to tears, and strengthened my personal conviction to pay forward when we are blessed with abundance. It's a small thing for me to throw a casserole together, but that might be an enormous gift to someone else. It's a small thing to have someone else's kids over to our house for a couple hours so that their parents can spend sometime together. Even those with little often have hidden abundances in their lives from which they might give.
Mary also showed up in time for Christmas! After a rather trying Christmas Eve morning, I sent out some last ditch prayers to St. Anthony. Looking in a basket where I know I have looked previously- there she was! I guess she was waiting for water. I don't blame her. Lol!
At dinner on Christmas Eve, my children wanted to go around the table and have everyone share their favorite Christmas memory. My kids overwhelmingly voted for the time Mommy was very pregnant lying on the floor holding up our toppling Christmas tree, while our oldest (then 9 years old) called Dad at work to come home. Why I didn't let it just fall, I have no idea- perhaps because I was afraid that the toddler would have then been all in the tree, perhaps it was just pregnant brain. I honestly don't know. However, that memory is absolutely ingrained in my children's memory.
I am really kind of a small disaster magnet around Christmas. This year was no different. My mom and I went to the post office on Christmas Eve so that I could get a refund on shipping which didn't arrive by the pre-set deadline. I had no idea that you could even do that, but the gracious post office clerk told me to make sure that I kept my receipts and checked the delivery time, because if it was even a minute late it's fully refundable. Four minutes saved me a bunch of money.
While my mom and I were at the post office I suggested that we drive by a house that my husband and I have looked at as we dream of moving someday. It's a wonderful little log house with great porches and a barn on about 4 acres. It's only a couple miles from the post office, and I thought it would only add about ten minutes to our trip. If only...
When I was backing out to leave, I was looking in the rear view mirror, to make sure that I didn't miss the turn around when I heard a thump and we quit moving. I had run over railroad ties which lined the gravel driveway and somehow completely wedged the car. We could neither roll forward, nor backward! My mom had the idea to try to jack up the car, but the railroad tie was in the way. We hauled some of the railroad ties out from in front of the car to see if we could just pull the other tie forward and get unstuck, but that was impossible. So I dug out underneath the tie with a metal pole we had found and precariously jacked up the car. With the jack in place I backed up a little but (and ran over the jack-which luckily hurt neither the car nor the jack). That freed the back tire from putting pressure on the back of the rail road tie, but left a bolt on the undercarriage gouging into the wood up front. I jacked the car up again, and with my mom on her butt pushing the railroad tie from the back, I pulled it forward and two hours later, we were free!!! We had thought about calling AAA, but I wasn't even sure of where we were. I didn't know the address or how to give anyone directions about how to find us. The only real regret I have is that my kids weren't there to add this to the list of their favorite Christmas memories; as it surely would have made it into the top three!
I hope everyone has had a wonderful beginning to their Christmas celebrations!