Well, Well, Well…

We are currently on Day 12 of our well fiasco, and I wanted to record the events of the last two weeks…mostly so that I can look back on it in the upcoming years. I know that when I look back I will probably have a little laugh and be reminded of the goodness of the Lord in ALL circumstances.

Right now, I’m doing the best I can do laugh about it all and see the goodness of the Lord. I will admit that this feels like a huge trial that has come upon us. I don’t know…maybe it doesn’t seem like such a big deal to anyone on the outside looking in, but I have struggled every single one of the last 12 days with being thankful and willing to let the Lord teach me through my attitude. I’m so weary, and I’m so ready to anticipate the arrival of our little man. This whole well business keeps me up at night because I just wonder how I can go through labor with the mental and emotional stress that has already taken a toll on me in the last two weeks.

All of that aside, I will try to add some good humor to this post and just record how we have been surviving the last 12 days. I have to chuckle because I know that those of you who are missionaries are rolling your eyes and reminding yourselves that I’m a little bit dramatic. No running water for 12 days? No big deal. That’s normal. Haha.

On a funnier note- I have jokingly started referring to this as the curse of 35 weeks. Do you know what happened to us when I was 35 weeks pregnant with Tera? Our house was infested with fleas. INFESTED. I remember thinking how horrible it was that it happened so close to the end of pregnancy, and whatdoyouknow….something like it has happened again at 35 weeks in this pregnancy!

During the week of September 12, I remarked to Theo that our water in the toilets was looking so much worse than normal. We have had some mild water problems since we moved in two years ago, but this was way worse than I had seen.

On Friday, Sept 16, Theo went to work. We had just pulled out all our fall/winter clothes, and I had a huge pile of clothes to wash in my laundry room. I tried to wash one load and the washing machine just wouldn’t fill up. I noticed that the water looked REALLY dirty. I was getting so frustrated that it literally took me all day to fill the washer and wash one load of laundry. I also noticed that the clothes seemed dirtier after I put them through the wash than before. When Tera and I were playing outside, she accidentally pooped her pants and I took them over to the hose to rinse them off. When I turned on the hose I was shocked by the water coming out of it. I took a picture and texted it to Theo, saying “This does not seem normal”. On Saturday morning, I tried to take a shower and there was actual mud on my scalp. The water pressure was so low that I had to ask Theo to bring me a bucket of water to rinse out the shampoo (and dirt) that was in my hair. Something was really wrong. Alas, it was Saturday and we could not get ahold of any well companies.

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No big deal…we can go without running water for two days!

Monday the 19th was the hardest day of this whole thing. Theo called three different companies, and each company sent out a person to investigate. The first company came and told us that we needed a new well, there was absolutely nothing that could be done for the current one. They then told us that they had a wait list of 3-4 weeks before they could begin drilling.

Theo contacted our homeowners insurance and filed a claim to cover some of the insane cost of a new well (10-15k). The person he talked to on the phone was really helpful and even encouraged us to look for a hotel to stay in and that it would be covered by insurance, only to call back three hours later and tell us that ZERO dollars would be covered and we could stay at a hotel on our own dime if we wanted. You’d better believe we shed a lot of tears that day.

The next day, Tuesday (the 20th), another company came out and said the same thing about our well: it was dunzo. Nothing could be done to repair it and a new one had to be dug. This company, however, gave us an estimate that was 2k less than the first company…and they said they could start drilling IMMEDIATLY. HAPPY DANCE AND PRAISE HANDS!!!!

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The rig came and got stuck in our yard, much to the amusement of all the children we were babysitting that day. I joked that it was “free entertainment”, but then I choked back a sob as the price tag “free” has never been further from the truth. That’s some super expensive entertainment right there.

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The well drilling has now been going on for a full week (they took Sunday off). Throughout the past few days, the news has not gotten better. Their estimated goal was to drill 150 ft down, but after 150 ft they had hit only mud, so they kept going. They are currently at 250 ft and still digging (but hoping to finish today!!!). Yesterday it took them two hours to drill 5 feet. The unfortunate thing is that we are paying them per foot. Oh my lordy, we just doubled the original cost/estimate of drilling a new well.

So, that is the story of our well so far. Yes, we thankfully have been putting money into a savings account…but we have only been married for 4.5 years and even if we put half of Theo’s paychecks in the savings account for the past four years, it wouldn’t cover the cost of the new well. It’s insane. BUT, we had also just saved up enough money to renovate our basement, so we are now saying goodbye to our basement plans and thanking the Lord for providing for our well through that money.

God is good. He is not always predictable, nor are His ways my ways. But he is always good.

This has already been a long post, but I wanted to include some pictures on how we are living without water. I’m trying to see this part as a grand adventure and laugh about it everyday. I know that I have taken things like warm showers and washing machines for granted in the past few years of living in America, but this has given me a lot of renewed perspective. I’m SO thankful for running water, and I’m so looking forward to it being restored!!!

Here is what some daily life looks like without running water:

Eating off paper plates whenever possible! We have also been buying store bought water and using that for drinking and cooking. We probably go through 2-4 gallons of that a day, so Theo has been taking the empty jugs to work to fill up with the filtered water there.

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Outside, we have two big trash bins full of water. One is a nasty bin that we were actually using for trash two weeks ago, so that is our toilet flushing water.

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Yes, in order to flush the toilets we are carrying water up all of these steps. It’s not the most convenient, but at least we have that water!

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Our second trash bin we bought brand new when this whole ordeal started, so it’s not dirty at all inside. This water is our shower water and dishes washing water.

We fill these two trash buckets up with the neighbors hose. Thankfully, he has been gracious enough to allow us to use that water, or I don’t know how we would be surviving!

Also, notice the orange tub in the picture below? That’s my hand-washing laundry. Which is mostly the necessities that can’t wait weeks to be washed. Like the undies that Tera has pooped in or the two maternity shirts that I actually fit into.

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Tera is so helpful! She doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, and for that I’m thankful. It doesn’t phase her in the least. I should be taking some notes!

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I mentioned that we are using store bought water (or filtered water from elsewhere) for drinking and cooking, but for washing dishes we are using the water from our neighbors hose. Every time I wash the dishes, I have to heat up some water and then make a wash bowl and a rinse bowl. The most time-consuming part is most certainly heating up the water and getting the water to a good temperature.

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Next up is the lovely adventure of flushing the toilets! Did you know you can still flush your toilets without running water? You can either pour a bucket of water directly into the toilet bowl and it will wash down, or you can fill the tank with buckets of water and then flush. The rule around here is “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down!” We try to just use one toilet at a time and flush it when it needs flushed! That’s probably the least fun part of this whole thing.

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As far as washing hands, we try to have a bowl of water available for hand washing, usually in the kitchen, but that doesn’t always happen so we have gone through a TON of hand sanitzer. I know…it’s no where near as effective and I’m just praying that God really boosts our immune systems during this time. We are doing the best with what we have don’t have, but I know it’s not the most sanitary lifestyle in the world.

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Next up is our showering adventures!

Tera hasn’t really figured out how to take showers yet, so she is the one who is losing out on the most. I think she misses her bathtime! She has to take bucket baths, which involves heating up water in the kitchen and then making the bucket water temperature just right to pour over her head. She was genuinely confused about why we were putting her in the tub with her clothes on.

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This shower has been a total lifesaver these past two weeks! I convinced Theo to buy it for us when we were newly married, and I think we have mayyyyybe used it once since. Until now. Now I use it at least every other day. It’s a 5 galloon capacity and when you fill it up with water, you can lay it in the sun so that it gets warm. I’ve been able to have warm “showers” for the most part because of this thing! And if I want to take a shower in the morning, I just have to heat up water in the kitchen and then put it in the bag. Since it works via gravity, I have to take my showers sitting down on this bucket haha.

And, yes…I do look rather huge. I’m 36 weeks pregnant. Did I mention that I’m 4 weeks away from delivering a baby with all these water problems? It’s not flattering, but…it’s life.

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For tooth brushing, we have more store bought water and some cups to pour it into to rinse our mouths and our toothbrushes.

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Last but not least is the laundry situation. It’s not pretty. I have gotten multiple offers from people to come on over and use their washing machines, and as you can see…I will be taking someone up on that offer sometime really soon!

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And that is the saga of our well. As I write this, they are still drilling outside but we are hopeful they will be done drilling today!!! They will then have to put the finishing touches on digging a trench and installing plumbing and then hopefully, hopefully someday this week we will have our water back!!!!!!!!

7 comments

  1. Tam says:

    There isn’t anyone I know who has had the life experience to prepare you for this! I’m sure it feels like chaos but it seems you are trouble shooting and making it work as gracefully as you can. Love you guys!!

  2. Rebekah says:

    Oh dear momma, I feel ya! We just had to get a new well dug as well…I can’t imagine no water while being pregnant though. I’m hoping you get water back soon!
    You aren’t huge either. You look beautiful.

    • [email protected] says:

      Yes, I believe so! Main water has to be connected to a city plant, so if you don’t live near a city it would take miles and miles of pipeline. We were unable to connect to a city main, so we have to have our own well. It’s crazy, isn’t it?

  3. Nancy says:

    My German friend here asked me the same thing Alice above did. She wanted to know if you live way out in the country or up in the mountains or something! I do think it’s still pretty common to be on well water/septic system outside of cities.
    Those years we had hardly any water in Tera….honestly it was exhausting. We spent so much of our day getting water. And i never felt like anything was truly clean. Believe me, I totally understand what you’ve just gone through. And I never had to do it pregnant. I hope you weren’t hauling water up those steps!
    Most of all I’m really sorry about the expense to you. 🙁

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