Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Yeah, But Daniel Boone Drank From Crystal Clear Mountain Springs

The devil reveals his presence through electrical devices. I have seen televisions, dishwashers, washing machines, and even telephones burst into flame.
Father Gabriele Amorth
Senior Exorcist for the Vatican

While I can claim little experience with witch's mammery glands or well diggers posteriors, I do know it's cold outside. I mean, cold!
I'm about to start washing potatoes for dinner when: no water comes out of the faucet.
Okay, the pipes are frozen.
The pipes are frozen? It's barely even dark, yet.
I go outside to investigate. There's a lamp in there for heat and the light bulb's burned out. Why today? And on further investigation I notice that the heat tape I've got running along the pipes is, well, not hot. Okay - how long's that been broken?
I go to boil water to pour over the pipes - no flame on the stove.
Okay, the propane is frozen. So I get out my little electric tea kettle, try to find some water ... oh, there's some in the other tea kettle. So I switch water from one tea kettle to another (there will always be an England) and pour a little over the pressure regulator at the propane tank. Viola! The stove works. So I pour the water back into the first tea kettle (see previous parenthetical statement) and get that to what my Grandma used to call a "good rolling boil."
Outside, I push the cover off the well house, and pour the water over the pipes. I let it trickle down slowly, letting every drop hit the PVC with its heated goodness. In coffee houses in Turkey they aren't so careful about the way they pour things.
I rush back inside expecting to see a torrent from the faucet - nothing. Okay. More water. Where. Melt snow? No ...the pot I made noodles in last night! It's still on the stove, unwashed, and I had thoughtfully filled it with water so the noodle remnants wouldn't petrify. So I go to heat that but the propane has frozen again. So I pour a bit of dirty noodle water into the electric teapot (England,) heat that, pour it over the propane tank, get the stove going, boil the noodle water (good & rolling) and am ready to go back outside. I pour the water into a Thermos that has a spout on it, to get that Turkish coffee effect, and am back outside. Dark already. I guess at where the pipe is, pour, rush, expecting - no.
That pipe is really frozen. Did I mention it was cold? A little good rolling boiled water usually thaws everything right out, but not today.
More water. None. Nowhere. Pond? Frozen. Branch? Yeah, but it's so low it would take about a thousand scoops to fill the teapot. (You guessed it: I've been there. I've done that.)
How about J*'s hairdrier? (I losing count of how many appliances are being used in this procedure.)
J*'s hairdrier.
Where would that be?
She's away for the week-end. Did she leave it?
Where would J* put a hair drier?
Half an hour later, I've got it. It was in a cardboard box in the middle of the floor, filed amongst some cookbooks and a bag of diapers.
I stretch an extension cord to the well, plug in, and blow. And blow. And blow. After fifteen minutes of thusly huffing and puffing, I go back inside to see if the water is flowing. It is. All over the floor. I'd left the stoppers in the drains.
Oh, the walk-in cooler. I get the mop, mop up the water, wash the potatoes, dice and slice and start to fry, and remember that the cover is off the well. I go outside - dark, but the moon is full and glorious on the snow - and push the cover back on the well. Back inside, I go to clean the chopping board and find the water flows not.
Frozen already?
Back outside with the hair drier, huffing and puffing, and nothing.
It can't be that frozen.
Then I noticed that when I pushed the cover back on the well, I hit the wire right where it's spliced together, and knocked everything loose.
I turn the breaker off, try to reconnect everything, and succeed in breaking the wire.
Okay. Is there any cereal in the house. Peanut butter? No, I'd better fix this now.
I look for a flashlight, find three, but none with working batteries, so walk up to the shop for an oil lantern, a wire stripping tool, and some wire nuts.
But I can't find my lighter. So I break a straw off the broom, light that in the fireplace, light the lantern, go outside and get the well wired back.
Still no water.
It had frozen again.
I refuse to use the hair drier again.
Who am I - Farrah Fawcett?
What else is available?
Aha! J*'s plug-in electric heater. She'll never miss it.
Outside, I lower it over the side of the well house, plug it in, gently replace the lid, and go back inside.
The potatoes are done. Delicious.
Fifteen minutes later, the water starts flowing.
It's still on. I dare not shut it off tonight. The erratic splattering sound it makes against the bottom of the sink is somehow melodic and soothing. Reassuring. I'm going to enjoy doing the dishes tonight.

About the first sentence in this post.
Upon reflection, I must admit that I have in my life attached myself to the mammery glands of a witch or two, and, about the well digger's posterior, well, I act like one from time to time.
Am I sharing too much?


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