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Coming up to the 3rd week of October, and our well is still dry. We've had no running water in the house since mid-August, and this makes it the longest time I've ever done this. I have become intensely aware of water, and many things related to it - washing, cooking, cleaning, rain, thirst and drought.

Where has all the water gone? It has not stopped raining, in fact there have already been over four inches of rain in October, measured by my home-made rain gauge. But it was such a dry summer that the water table went down, and has stayed there. Rick Beausoleil, our neighbor, reports his 14-foot "winter well" is still dry, while the well he uses in summer is down to 18 inches. Once the ground freezes, he can't use that well, and his house will be, like ours, without water. Other neighbors on Darling Hill Road, who live lower down the hill, report that the wells are lower than they've seen in 35 years.

So here I am, trying to deal with this mild deprivation in the midst of plenty. Trying to be a pioneer woman; trying to be a stoic New Englander; trying to be resourceful and sane - or at least not go crazy. Trying to continue normal life and be myself.

How am I doing? and what have I learned? Well, I'm feeling it. Dryness, drought, thirst, whatever you call it - my writing has dried up (you may have noticed this is my first post since August). Because water has to be carried in and heated, I have simplified everything to do with cooking and washing. Some days this means dinner is a half-washed salad eaten with my fingers (no dishes), or a peanut butter sandwich on a napkin (just a knife). When I have the energy to cook, the challenge is to see how few saucepans, implements and dishes I can get away with.

It's also a great excuse for coming to a pot-luck with a loaf of bread and a few apples. "Sorry, I can't cook with no water!" Which is not strictly true, because I CAN cook if I'm emotionally prepared to take the extra time and trouble. But the fact is, I've been fighting with depression these last few weeks, and this makes me more volatile than usual.

I found myself picking fights with Jim over tiny comments: "Why do you say 'Not right now' instead of 'No' when asked a question?" I have less patience with my mother when she can't hear, I get more annoyed at work if books are not on the right shelf, and I hate the long string of bright beautiful sunny days!

All of the above is ridiculous, and I know it. Jim has been expressing himself this way for at least the last 30 years; my 92-year-old mother really IS hard of hearing, and when people come and use a library, the books do, inevitably, get out of order.
As for the weather? Maybe this is just another of Robert Frost's "outdoor games", and I need to stop complaining and learn how to play.

This morning is cool and bright; leaves on the ground and trees are red and yellow, green and gold. I am going put on my scarf and go for a walk, and enjoy the October woods before they fade.

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It is the 5th of November. After 2 days of rain and half a truck-full of water (the Beausoleils got the other half), our well has over four feet of water! We celebrated by taking deep baths, and watching "The girl with the dragon tattoo" on DVD. The hot water is a bit rusty - and the movie was good. Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

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