Well the school year has begun and so far so good. Today was the first day with all 3 of them out of the house so I seized the opportunity to catch up on all the neglected house work. Well, when I say all, I mean a very large proportion. There are still copious quantities of washing to be done, but the drizzle has brought that almost to a standstill. I say drizzle rather than rain, because you wouldn’t call what we’ve had in the past 2 days actual rain, just enough moisture to save having to water the garden but not enough to be of any real value after our recent water incident. Oh, you’re probably not aware of our water dilemma are you? Well, pull up a stump and let me fill you in….
Everyone here in the valley is rejoicing over the recent rains which have broken the drought, filled tanks and dams and seen every form of botanical life go completely berserk! We too rejoiced at this wonderful phenomena known as the wet season as our 12,000 gallon tank was finally full and our once brown and dead surrounds were again lush and green producing an abundance of food for both animals and humans alike. However, our idyllic bubble was soon to burst when I began to notice a feint smell to the liquid gold flowing from our household taps. Within 2 days, said feint smell had turned to an overwhelming rank stench that was so bad that the once pleasurable act of showering had become so unbearable due to the smell that I could have patented it and sold it to the CIA as a new interrogation technique! So, as heartbreaking as it was to do, we had no choice but to empty the tank and start again. One of the great things about living in a small rural community is that the people around you are always willing to lend a hand, or a piece of equipment depending on the need. Thankfully we have a friend who owns a water pump, so we were able to remove the offending H2O quite efficiently however it wasn’t able to suck out the last inch or so of water, so manual labour became the order of the day, and this is when the fun really began. (please apply sarcasm font to previous comment) In order to ensure that the tank was as clean as possible we rang around to all the local and not so local tank cleaners to see if someone was able to come and skillfully complete the job that day as the sky was turning a dark grey with the promise of a storm, but as luck would have it, nobody was available. This meant that it was up to us to get inside the tank and finish what we’d started. Did I happen to mention that it was 38 degrees and 100% humidity and that the tank is a concrete in-ground job? So anyhoo, in we climbed along with brooms, mops, buckets and scoops made from 10 litre plastic water containers to scrape up the remaining water which was then bucketed out, followed by scrubbing and hosing and more bucketing until the floor of the tank was as close to cleansed as we could get it. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been inside an empty concrete water tank under ground but if you can imagine being in a dimly lit sauna which, rather than smelling of fresh pine wood was more like a commercial laundry filled with sweaty socks and the added bonus of heightened acoustics similar to what I imagine the Grand Canyon to have. Conversation was difficult to say the least, because everything echoed a thousand times, including the sound of the plastic scoops dragging across the concrete floor removing the last of the water. And to add to the fun, when a bucket was filled with water it was then handed up to my dear other half who would put it on the garden then return the said bucket for refill. However rather than pass the buckets down to one of us, he would just drop them into the tank. Needless to say it was like standing with my ear to the giant gong that the guy would bash at the beginning of old movies produced by the Rank Organization! (Showing my age here, but I’m sure you get the picture) This behavior was brought to an abrupt end and a more efficient system of handing buckets down was put into place. Well after what seemed like 3 days, we finally got it to as good as it was going to get, so we hauled our butts out of there, added some chlorine just to be on the safe side and waited for the deluge to fall that the grey sky was promising it would share with us. The weather bureau assured us that a significant rain event was going to happen and we were confident that within a day or so we would be back to enjoying a full tank or pristine rain water. Bring it on!!! Well, it’s been a week now and we’re still waiting on that torrent to arrive. We did get a few feet of water in there but not enough to last for long. We’ve taken to buying our drinking water to be on the safe side, but showering and washing in the contents of what we have been able to harvest is all fine and dandy for now, but if we don’t see some proper rain soon, we may all end up smelling like those stinky socks ourselves.
The country life brings with it it’s own set of unique challenges. We don’t take one drop of the water we receive for granted and when you don’t have the convenience of a seemingly never ending supply of water running from your council provided taps, you quickly understand how precious every bit is. It’s easy to get caught up in what society often views as valuable, such as money, cars and jewels, while failing to recognize the true treasures, like the rain. I can completely understand why the Torah tells us that when we are right with HaShem, one of the blessings Israel receives is rain in it’s season. All the gold in the world is useless if you don’t have water to sustain life. We need to understand what the true blessings of G-d are, and be truly thankful for them. As for the offending water, we haven’t yet discovered the reason why it turned so rank. We did find a couple of dead lizards but for now it remains a mystery.