Hauling water

Last Monday we began the process of having the exterior of our house painted.  This is an exciting process, but as the tenth day of not having a hose or ability to use the sprinklers arrives, the excitement is finding some balance.

Naturally, our temperatures have begun to climb, reaching the high eighties now, so the potted plants and new garden plants are in more need of regular watering.  This morning, bright and early, I set about the process of filling the largest watering can I could carry full from the kitchen sink.  Ah, the front door is taped shut in anticipation of painting the entry, so out the garage door I went to water the new lilac bushes, sedums, and my two large decorative pots.  That took four cans-full.  As the painters are keeping the birds away, I didn’t bother filling the front bird bath, which would have been another can full.

The back yard, going down the flight of stairs from the deck, required another three, plus one for the birdbath.  I skimped and only watered the really needy plants here.  There are lots of pots on the deck, with vegetables and flowers; this was the shortest haul distance for another three cans-full.

I have the ease of a faucet in my kitchen, the water is clean and water pressure good.  Thinking about the early history of this country, of western culture in general and how many third world cultures are still needing to haul water, not necessarily clean further distances.  Whether from a river, a well, or some other source, this is not as easy as my faucet.  Then you have the large, typically double-buckets-with-the-yoke pictures of women carrying water long distances to their homes; these are more ominous now than ever.  I choose to have the garden and containers, they are carrying water to keep their families fed and hydrated, probably clean as well.  This is their routine, not the exception!

I am very thankful for my conveniences everyday, but on days like today, that thankfulness is vividly present in my mind.  Think it is time for another cup of tea: convenient clean water, electric pot, tea that someone else harvested and prepared, boy am I spoiled.

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