Water, water everywhere


There is an old poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge named “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and before you say I have a typo in the title of the poem and it should be “Rhyme,” it's not. I guess he didn't have a spell check on his laptop back in 1798 at the time he wrote it or something.

The poem is about a sailor who is surrounded by the sea and even though it's technically made up of water, it's too salty to drink. Hence, he penned the lines:

Water, water, every where,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, every where,

Nor any drop to drink.

And even though we are far from the vast expanses of that salty abyss, we often find ourselves in a situation just like that, especially in a flood or storm. Hurricanes and other major weather events often knock out our normally safe water supply and soon we are dependent on bottled water brought in by the literal truckload to save us.

Now Ol’ Dutch has often been called a Rain Man of sorts as it seems that wherever I go it does rain in copious enough amounts that people soon ask me to leave. Why just this last summer I was in Colorado, and it rained for about 60 days straight and, let me tell you, it was wet. But soon enough it came time to remove myself from the beautiful Rocky Mountains and head south to escape the coming snows. So, Miss Trixie and I packed up the old Conestoga and pulled East and South for warmer climes.

It didn't take long before we hit the dry plains of Eastern Colorado, then New Mexico and Ol’ Dutch felt that old familiar stirring inside and began to pray for rain for those poor folks. And as usual it came with a vengeance soon along the trail we chose. We found flooded streets and fields in all the bergs along our path. It got so bad and so dark that even Ol’ Dutch, mountain man extraordinaire, had to stop and spend the night at the Big Box store.

But alas, morning pretty much brought cooler temps and drizzle and so it was a wet drive into the farm. But arriving there we were met with the horrors of the past summer drought as there are cracks in the ground big enough to swallow small children and old people, and the lake I own has shriveled up like a prune on steroids.

Ol’ Dutch parked the RV and proceeded to hook up the utilities while the cows stood around me in a circle begging for some cold tap water that they seem to prefer to pond water. So I took a minute to get the hose out to fill their tanks but when I turned on the spigot nothing came out. Which elicited a huge “oh no!” from my lips or something of that kind, at least. For I knew we were in for our own version of the ancient mariner. Water in the main line enough to dunk every Baptist in Texas but none at my hydrant.

Miss Trixie and I live out in the middle of our acres so the waterline to the meter is long. And I mean long. It's probably about 1,000 feet so finding a leak in that length I knew was going to be a challenge of immense proportions. Finding two welding rods I made some divining rods and quickly located the line across the pasture and walked it several times looking for a wet spot. This seems to work on any underground object and yes, not only am I a Rain Man but deviner of no little measure. But try as I may, I could not find the leak and so headed over to shut the water off and Miss Trixie luckily rode along. For it was she who discovered the water coming out of the field to the roadside ditch and so began a digging contest to find the break.

I would like to say that we are done with that saga but with the backhoe suffering issues, Ol’ Dutch has already worn out one shovel and will have to break out a new one today and get that fixed.

It appears I have my work cut out for me and prayers have begun for rain to return to Texas so expect flooding and “water water everywhere but nary a drop to drink.”

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com.

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