Jan's Blog Flower



Now reading . . .

"The Sewing Circles of Herat"
by Christina Lamb

"Mrs. Mike"
by Benedict and Nancy Freedman

by Burrows and Wallace

"People of The Lie"
by M. Scott Peck

"The Lost"
by Daniel Mendelsohn

February 21, 2008

Water, water everywhere

When I returned from Montana a couple of weeks ago, we had to deal with plumbing problems. Mmmm had managed very well and Marty, the neighborhood plumber, had been here a couple of times. While I was in Montana, the newspaper reported that a couple of mains had burst probably because they had been installed 45 years ago. I should have known – we have lived in our house 45 years and our pipes are 45 years old. They didn’t burst but they were 45 years old.

When I was a child, we, all eight of us, lived in a four room house with no electricity, no running water, and no indoor plumbing, so I was able to manage with restricted water use quite well. Taking a sponge bath in a basin is not hard. We were careful in our use of dishes and clothes. It was a little like camping out for a week until Marty and his helper were able to dig a hole, about the size of a grave, in the front lawn and remove the offending section of the pipe that had a large root growing out of it. There was a ball of roots. They replaced the pipe, the dirt and the sod and we thought we were safe. I started doing laundry, running the disposal and other things. When I passed through the front bath, I glanced into the tub and it was nearly full of water! There was standing water in Mmmm’s shower and water in one of the toilets overflowed. We quickly called Marty and he was back shortly to figure out what was happening. He discovered there was another ball of roots under the house. After Marty took care of the roots, he cleaned the tub, the shower and the toilets and even shampooed the rug where there had been an overflow. What a guy!

I am so thankful for my childhood that was Spartan by some standards. We didn’t feel poor – but of course, almost everyone was poor. We thought it was wonderful that some people had running water and electricity and telephones. Grandpa and Grandma had a telephone. We had kerosene lamps with glass chimneys that were kept clean and polished. We had a well and good tasting clean water that we hauled to the house. We had an outhouse that was big enough for two and since there were six of us children, there was always someone to keep us company. We didn’t have many things but we were loved and cared for and were rich in relationships. One of our cousins was an only child. She looked longingly at our close family even though she had toys that we could only dream of. I am sorry that our daughter is an only child. I have warned her cousins that they are to act as her siblings and they exclaimed, “We already do!” And they do, indeed.

Plumbing and stock markets and things are so peripheral to what is really important – family and relationships , are what matter, especially with our Heavenly Father. The Bible says that God is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows and that he sets the lonely in families. The Bible doesn’t talk about plumbing much.

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