And I am thankful.
Another busy Saturday on the homestead. The chore list is unending, but we pick a few priorities a put at the front of the list. This Saturday our goal is to paint the guest room and replace the heater in the room (because it stopped working).
Side note: my mantra on the homestead…
If it’s not broken now, it will be soon.
The guest room is a priority, because we have guests arriving Monday. Normally painting would not be a priority, but the ceiling in the guest room had to be repaired because the last time we had guests in that room there was a leak from the shower above and they woke up to dripping on the bed. So, my husband had to remove the drywall ceiling to investigate the leak and we have spent the past few weeks slowly putting it back together. But guests are coming so that is the priority today.
But remember: If it’s not broken now, it will be soon.
Saturday, late morning in the middle of painting and heater replacing the water stops flowing from the faucets.
Our homestead is on a well. That was a major selling point for us. Having our own well makes us independent. We are neither reliant on, nor answerable to the city for our water usage. The water is clean and delicious without chlorine or fluoride. Our water comes from below our property, not hundreds of miles from some faraway mountains. This is our water.
This is our water. This is our responsibility. I can’t call some clerk at some bureaucracy and demand that the problem be fixed by some stranger. It is our problem. Fixing it is up to us.
My 18-year-old son and I take over the painting. Mr. J goes to replace the heater in the guest room with a new one, only to find the old one just needed a good cleaning. Live and learn. By Saturday mid-afternoon Mr. J is able to pivot his focus to the broken well.
Mr. J and son investigate the well. They checked the pressure on the tank – it is low. They check the switch for the pump – it has power. The only thing left to check is the pump and that job is too big for my very handy husband.
Friends, the well stopped working.
And it is Saturday.
The beauty of small-town Tennessee is that everyone stops working Saturday afternoon and nobody works on Sunday. That, of course, is assuming you can even find a plumber that works in the area – evidently there are very few for our county. There was a local plumber we had called earlier in the week, but he is booked until January.
It is Saturday afternoon, and the well is not working.
But I am thankful.
How can I possibly be thankful? I have no running water and no plumber is coming to save us in the immediate future.
I am thankful that the weather is mild and it has been raining the past few days. After all, we could be freezing and in a drought.
I am thankful for the opportunity to test our emergency preparedness. I thought that having a well means you always have water, but the well stopped working. I need to make sure we have water storage on hand for drinking and flushing toilets. I can prepare for this now and be ready for the future.
I am thankful I get to test my Berkey water filtration system in real life. We poured water from an outside barrel in it Saturday night and used that water to make our morning coffee. And we are still alive.
I am thankful my handy husband was given a reason to thoroughly investigate the well system. It is a system he was unfamiliar with and now he knows how it is put together and can do some basic troubleshooting.
I am thankful for the chance to practice virtue. I seek to find joy in this while my husband digs deep for patience.
I am thankful my son had this opportunity to work with dad on a very real problem. He was helpful with trouble shooting the system and this will better prepare him when he has his own home.
I am thankful for the existing water catchment in place around the homestead. I was able to walk out my back door, dip a pan in a barrel, and heat it up to wash dishes.
I am thankful for YouTube and a bottle of wine. This made our Saturday evening almost romantic. We learned about wells and for a short time cared just a little less – thanks to the wine. YouTube has everything and RC Worst has a great channel on how to trouble shoot your well.
I am thankful Costco is not too far away and is open Sundays so I can buy more bottled water and get the supplies we need to make it through the next few days.
I am thankful we don’t have to use the outhouse. Our homestead has the original outhouse (a double seater I’ll have you know) still standing a short walk from the back door. It worked for the last century it could still work for this one. But thankfully I don’t have to find out…yet.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
I am thankful for this homestead. This opportunity to work, to struggle, to do something real.
And eventually, I will be thankful for a well that works.