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Friday, May 6, 2016

Brazil Buzz

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I wish that Mother Nature would turn the faucet off for a while. It feels like I am living in a tropical rain forest. At, times there is such a thing as too much green, especially when it rains. The atmospheric conditions become oppressive to the spirit and senses.

Last year the rains came down, the yard flooded and moved the buckets.

Even the dog complained. In fact, that little swimmer put Michael Phelps to shame. It sure was somewhat neat how he parted the water and rescued himself, leaving his bones behind. There were no medals for Rowdy. Dry ground was reward enough for him.

It is all about water these days. Folks are complaining about just about everything that has to do with it. Of course, it is true that too much rain puts a damper on the farmer's work progress. Too much of it encourages an overpopulation of insects, mold, plant blight and weed growth.

This lover of moderation could go on and on to include the effects the aforementioned condition has on livestock, pets and roads. Everything and everybody is crying similar woes. I have decided to do my part and put rain dancing on hold for a spell!

Some folks are taking water complaints to another level. Eyes focus on the tired old water tower that has served our city since the mid fifties, well. Time has taken its toll on the metal structure, as is evident considering the appearance of the landmark. We are disappointed, of course that the big rusty container fell into such disrepair.

Many of us saw the awesome new tower go up. Hopefully; we will see it dismantled as soon as possible after the new system is in place. Everything positive will come about in good time. We have a good group of people in our corner on that.

I appreciated that water report too. The City of Brazil is telling us exactly what we need to know about the condition of our drinking water. They leave it up to us to decide if we want to drink it or take in bottled water and wait for something better.

I think I will continue to trust the tap water is safe, just as I have done since I was a small child with a drinking cup, when; I first went on the hard stuff, in the forties. What did we drink before the family could afford the luxury of running water?

And; no, I am not going to tell you about occasional nips from the corked up jugs in the cellar, that my brother Johnny and I needed to quench our thirst on break from sprouting a zillion potatoes.

We carried water home from a well located in a field in the south end of the Catholic Cemetery (Restlawn), in our coaster wagon in five-gallon buckets, two at a time. No one questioned what was in the drinking water and it was any ones guess if they would have.

We owned a cistern, complete with a filtering system, such as it was, that dad cleaned, periodically, but; for some reason, unbeknownst to this writer; only livestock and pets drank the contents.

The water smelled funny, now that I think about it. The sunfish that I tried to save from the skillet swam around in it all day one day. I checked the next day. The proof that they could not take it became apparent when I peeked through the platform with the help of the flashlight and saw them floating on top.

The neighbors were good to give us more water. Mother Nature's acts filled the wooden barrels with soft rainwater. We used gifts of God for washing clothes, week day wash-ups and Saturday night baths. We washed our hair in pans of it too.

How could I almost forget the dishwater?

The family drank from a water bucket that sat on a dry sink. A long handled dipper met up with several hands and mouths before the day was over. With that method, we could have used a water analysis of some sort. Imagine that! It sat too close to the fly sticker for my liking.

We used to fill a No.3 washtub with the soft water to take a bath in. That sure did deplete the content of the barrels, by them time we all cleaned up when the day was done. We stood in the rain a lot when the barrels were low. Just kidding!

The reservoir on the side of the cook stove received its share and the small one on the back of the heating stove, the same. "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to spare!"

Our "Old Mac Donald" had loads of livestock of every description and a large kennel of beagles as well. All needed fresh water and we saw to that even though the pump handle primed with much difficulty, especially in the winter.

Five-gallon buckets filled almost to the brims were difficult for kids to handle, but we did. We were tough little skinny minis'.

Once my brother dared me to touch the icy cold top of the pump handle with my tongue and it stuck, tighter than a stick tight on a woolen sock.

Then one day Dad announced that things were looking up for us. City water lines were coming our way, right down the side of dirt road (Elm Street) to our house and they did. He said do not waste the water, the bill is going to be a buck. He did buy us a dandy garden hose from Hulman & Company. Johnny and I watered everything that thirsted on the place. We were careful not to waste the good stuff coming from the nozzle in such abundance.

I can still taste the drinks that came from the hose. We sprayed each other, porch, mom and the dog. Mom was the only one that complained. The water tasted wonderful and we were so grateful.

Inside plumbing did not find its way to our house, until it was not my house anymore. I left home in 1957.

Those old pipes that meant so much to us so long ago still lie beneath the lawn at the homestead. The old cistern was filled in, as the well in the cemetery was, outdated.

The generous neighbors and most of my nuclear family are gone now as well.

This old city citizen is still drinking the water with no complaints, that to include the summer one.

I can be reached at 446-4852 or by email at pmlsartor@aol.com