The old farm house we bought 34 years ago is a better place than it was when we bought it. In many ways, vastly so. My parents must have thought we were 100% whacked when they first saw it. No central heat, certainly no air conditioning. Horrid wiring, rats, some of the outbuildings unredeemable, an old shallow well.
As civilization encroached on our 11 acres in the middle of open fields, things were slowly fixed, renovated or torn down. Woods grew up around us, a pond was dug, and the open country around us started looking more like a suburban farming community.
Now it’s winter, 34 years later. The house is our home, the one we expect to be our last, the one where we raised our kids, grew our gardens, learned about livestock.
One thing we never fixed was the water. That finally caught up with us.
Saturday the pipes froze somewhere between the pump house and the house. Two plumbers and two days later, still no water, and it doesn’t look hopeful. More frigid weather on its way. Nobody has been able to determine where the freeze is or how to fix it. Heaters in the crawl space, in the pump house, heat guns, hair dryers…nothing.
It’s certainly not more inconvenient than camping, which we relish. But still, not easy.
One thing we did right, way back when, was to have a frost-free spigot installed just outside the pump house. It kicks out well water like a fire hydrant. I just have to haul the stuff to the house in my collection of 5 gallon buckets (on the back of the 4 wheeler).
Tomorrow, more of the journey in the quest for a fix. It’ll almost certainly be expensive. But I can’t complain. The old joint has served us well, and it’s given us more permanent benefits than water.
Winter gets harder as you get older, whether you’re a house or a human.