by Carol Dunn
HUERFANO — If your well has been hanging in there for the past few years and you’ve started to think it’s invincible, don’t strut around tugging on your suspenders just yet. If it hasn’t already, this ongoing drought is going to beat down your well until it whimpers and wheezes.
These are the times when even the most easy-going among us walk around gnashing our teeth because we cannot run the dishwasher (which is the only reason I even use real dishes in the first place) or the washing machine (which is the only reason my family can wear something besides old rags and burlap sacks for clothing). These modern conveniences, essential to life really, are a no-no when the well is straining to produce even enough water to make an ice cube.
And you can just forget about flushing the toilet. If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown flush it down. Oh sure you can lug 5-gallon buckets of water in and leave them sitting beside the toilet to flush it every time you use it. First of all, this is a decorator’s nightmare. You simply cannot find a 5-gallon bucket that will go with your bathroom colors. Secondly, you will get a hernia lifting that bucket 12 times a day to force a flush (and don’t get me started about how many times we in our advanced years have to go to the bathroom). Plus, you will most certainly spill the water all over the toilet seat and on the floor while you are pouring it. Then you have to mop the floor and wash the toilet, and, well, believe me. It ain’t worth the effort … unless it’s brown.
If things are really bad and your well is only giving you enough water every day to brush your teeth. You will eventually have to haul water. Even if you don’t want to, your friends will get together and secure the necessary equipment to accomplish this because you are going to start to smell bad after about a week without a shower. You can cover it with deodorant and powder and perfume for a while, maybe up to ten days (don’t ask how I know this). But it will become obvious to all those you encounter that you are not bathing regularly. It would be nice for times like these if we could wear a T-shirt that says, “Pity Me – I Have a Well.”
It wouldn’t be a keepsake for the tourists – it would be a badge of courage for us Huerfanos.