Possumhaw: Well, well, all is well



Shannon Bardwell



"When the well runs dry we learn the worth of water."


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)




The well ran dry. Actually, the 40-year-old pump just quit. Sam called the well man and asked if it might be still under warranty. Of course, Sam was joking. The next day the well man came over to take a look. He confirmed the well had passed on to its heavenly reward. The pump had been sucking sand for years but was still good for outside watering. I shall miss the well. Sam gently reminded me it's not like we don't have water. I'm settling into it. It occurred to me one day that for over 30 years the house was served by well water. There was no chlorine or fluoride, just water out of the ground. That would have been the water used by generations before us -- groundwater and rainwater. Before the pump started drawing sand, the well water was the best-tasting water ever. I missed it then, and I'll miss it now. One day having well water will be a pleasant memory from the past.


Time of sheltering has allowed more space for new hobbies and pastimes during the pandemic. The garden, the flowerbeds, the shrubs, the weeds and vines have had more attention. Thus, the increase use of the well water. Seems everything grows more abundantly by watering and weeding. With the success of the flowers, I was able to take photographs on my phone and post them or send them to a friend like a greeting card. It's amazing the quality photographs a phone will produce. I've occupied myself by creating arrangements and styling different colors and textures. By noticing flowers and vines I've discovered small creatures living in the Prairie I might not have noticed otherwise. I photographed and posted them. I've learned to keep my phone in my pocket. Rarely is there time to run to the house, get the phone and return, only to find the creature has vanished.


September is almost over, though it seems it barely arrived. Cooler temperatures are easing in, perhaps more so by weather turbulence than season. Even so, I've begun to change out my summer clothes to more fall wear, which includes possibly discarding and donating some summer wear and evaluating last year's fall wear. My summer rubber boots now have holes and cracks, posing no problems in the drought of summer. Soon they'll need to be replaced when fall rains begin. It's always good to plan ahead and prepare.


Some statistics reported in the Raymond James newsletter show current events have changed the ways some of us have lived our lives: 94 percent of those surveyed are washing their hands more often, 54 percent are cooking more, 50 percent are connecting with others through video calls, 39 percent of those who rarely or never pray have started, 25 percent are reading more books, 21 percent have attended a large gathering online, 21 percent have used food delivery service, 12 percent have attended an online class.


When it's confirmed the pandemic is over, I wonder how many of these changes we will have worked into our new normal? The old is gone; the new has come.




Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.


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