Yesterday someone wrote asking me to explain how it is we live without public water. That is a very good question.
According to the EPA, 15% of Americans get their water from private wells, like us. The town of Mexico, a couple miles down the road, has a public water system, but we don’t technically live in the town. The very rural town we do live in is beginning to develop a public water system, but we think it will be at least a decade before they get to our neck of the woods, if ever.
Our well, like all of our neighbors’ wells, is a hole dug into the ground (by experts!) until it reached an underground aquifer. Pipes were laid from the well to the house and pumps installed. In our basement, we have a fancy-pants German filtration system to make sure nothing nasty is hiding in the water. We have it tested periodically; it’s wonderfully clean and pure.
Our environment would be better off if more people used well water. For one thing, you are less inclined to throw chemicals on your lawn and garden when you know that you’ll be drinking them. Secondly, knowing that water is a finite resource makes people pay more attention to their consumption. It’s not that we walk around unbathed or anything, but we try really hard not to waste a drop. (That’s why there are rain barrels to help collect water for the garden.)
One more water note (I write this watching the sky, hoping the rain gets here soon.) When we lose electricity, we lose water access because the pump doesn’t work. This doesn’t happen often, but since I married a Boy Scout, we’re always prepared for it.
I do think that living out here in the country, heating our home with wood, snowshoeing when the driveway is blocked, getting by without electricity and water occasionally, not having air conditioning, plus growing and preserving our food has given me an insight into 18th century living conditions that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. (And I haven’t talked about our camp yet…. one word … outhouse!)
Enough about our plumbing. It’s time to write.
Today’s goal: Write for 15 minutes. If you have public water, push yourself and write for 16 minutes.
Today’s mindset: curious and open-minded
Today’s prompt: interview your character. Don’t overthink this. Just ask your character questions so you can get to know her/him better.
Hint: don’t accept generic answers. Push for details. For example, “pizza” is unacceptable as an answer to question #1. “Thick-crusted pizza with asiago cheese, fresh basil, and prosciutto, served with a glass of Beaujolais nouveau and eaten on the screen porch” is the level of detail you’re reaching for.
I’ll get you started with a few:
1. Favorite food
2. Secret crush in elementary school
3. Which relative do you loathe and why?
4. Favorite smell
5. What magazine do you buy when no one is watching?
6. What’s your best feature?
7. If you were given a paid day off and $500, what would you do with it?
8. What’s your biggest regret?
9. Favorite sound
10. What is hidden in the box at the back of your closet?