Last Thursday was my birthday. I’d been having this recurring dream for about 10 days that I bought a couple of winning lottery tickets by playing specific numbers. For my birthday I bought some tickets.
First, I had to google “how to play the lottery”. Because, seriously, I like NEVER buy lottery tickets.
Then I started to really dream about what I’d do with all that money. That was fun.
I got home and one of the feeders was empty. It shouldn’t have been, the horses were eating a little more than usual. That meant that I had to single-handedly attempt to get a 650 lb round bale onto a trailer and out to the feeder in 100 degree heat.
It was frustrating, but I was on a mission and ultimately got it done.
Jeff was up at the cabin and I was to drive up and meet him after work. We planned to have a nice relaxing glass of wine, hang out on the lake, and just relax. Not even half way up there, my car started flashing warning lights — “AT OIL TEMP”. I took that to be a bad thing. I tried to call Jeff but his phone was dead.
I’m not going to lie. The next half hour I stood at a gas station trying to a) read the owner’s manual so I could b) find the automatic transmission fluid dipstick, while I c) cried and sweated what remaining water I had left in me after feeding.
I turned back and headed home, unable to touch base with Jeff and tell him I wouldn’t make it.
A shower and a glass of wine when I got home sounded like a good enough ending to the day. I turned on the shower faucet.
I knew before I knew exactly what was wrong. For the past 10 years we’ve been struggling to get by with the water we had. It’s a long story, and it’s almost embarrassing how good we’ve become at pulling pumps out of wells. My brother actually bought a boom truck, and we are the main users of it.
I don’t know how a person can get real emotional about a hole in the ground, but this well is important to me. First, dad drilled the first half of it by hand, and I was there when he hit water (picture below). The well has been the heart of our every endeavor out here since I was a girl. The well made the peach orchard possible, kept our massive gardens alive, and secured this place as a little oasis in the desert.
We haven’t had a yard or garden for the past two years. This September our plan was to pull the pump and replace the pump, pipe, wiring, and control box. Finally, we were going to get all new everything — an expensive proposition, but what we knew we needed to do. In September.
You know that line about man planning and God laughing? I’m the poster child for that.
I woke up the next morning and arranged troughs for the horses so that they had water, thanks to our neighbors. Jeff came home and my brother showed up with the boom truck. My brother dropped everything and came up to help us pull the pump out. And then I went out on a really lovely sunset ride with a couple.
Saturday we had a ride in the morning — which is a wonderful start to any day if you ask me. I checked my Facebook and saw so many happy birthday wishes and offers to pick me up and help us out with the car situation, I nearly started to cry. Jeff went on a procurement mission to get the pump, pipe, and everything we needed. We got it all staged. Then a neighbor told us about some free lumber and straw that was ours if we went and got it, so we got three loads of great material for horse sheds and feeders and whatnot.
Jeff came home with everything we needed. For a FRACTION of what it was supposed to cost. I started to choke up then also, because I can’t tell you how dark a cloud this whole water issue has cast over us. It’s very stressful. And sad not to have a yard. yuck.
Sunday we set the pump — all new pipe, all new wire, all new controls, and let me tell you it’s one fancy-pants set up. I’d take pictures of it for you but… um… that’s kind of boring.
Sunday I also checked my lottery tickets. Not a single winner.
I wasn’t even sad. I had a long line of friends who eagerly offered help and kind wishes. We had family willing to drop everything to help us out. We had a great deal on a new pump, and some free lumber for some projects we knew we needed to do. I went on fantastic rides, doing something that I absolutely love — meeting new people and riding horses. And through all the stress and 18 hour days, my husband and I were able to laugh and joke and just get it done, like a team, something I appreciate so profoundly.
And we had water.
Did I win the Washington Lottery? Nah. Did I win the life lottery? I think so!