It takes a moment for the sound of silence to register. Arriving home after a most pleasant evening, I turned the water tap, which was followed by an unexpected nothing. In our absence our water vanished.
The problem with city kids accustomed to city services is you take utilities for granted. Move to the country, become king of your very own kingdom and suddenly supplying water, heat and sewer take on real significance. Before ratiocination sets in you think the worst. Is the well empty? Where was I when I last had water? What was I doing? Was anything different? Who do you call?
In the morning I phoned Mr. Well Fixit, who knows his business like no one else, a trained pro at spreading gloom. "Have you tried...? Go to the hardware store pick up a switch, replace it and if it doesn't work give me a call. It's my busy season, I may be able to get out early next week."
Now close your eyes and visualize turning off your water for a week. Drinking water, laundry, sanitation, showers, clean up, all gone. It took trips to 5 hardware stores to find the part I needed as there are few wells in Mayberry. I installed said switch. It did not solve my problem, but it bought Mr. Well Fixit another day for our desperation (willingness to pay) to deepen.
I called him back. " Well, if the weather holds I may be able to get there late the day after tomorrow." In fact, he arrived the next morning, most probably, so we could ladle our appreciation on thick.
Forget all the well digger jokes you've heard. Water is important. Willingness to pay the piper increases as time expands, and my did we pay. I'm off to shower now. Have a great weekend.