ANN BAILEY: Facing water woes with a positive attitudeA wet basement, a septic system that’s being taxed by too much water and fields full of lakes breeding mosquito larvae, have tempered the joys of country living this spring and summer. My outlook after dealing day in, day out, with too much water is similar to the way I feel in the winter after successive blizzards have dumped mountains of snow on us. I begin to dream of living in Arizona where there’s no snow to shovel in the summer and a desert, with nary a drop of water in sight, to enjoy in the summer.
A wet basement, a septic system that’s being taxed by too much water and fields full of lakes breeding mosquito larvae, have tempered the joys of country living this spring and summer.
My outlook after dealing day in, day out, with too much water is similar to the way I feel in the winter after successive blizzards have dumped mountains of snow on us. I begin to dream of living in Arizona where there’s no snow to shovel in the summer and a desert, with nary a drop of water in sight, to enjoy in the summer.
Fortunately, just when I’m at my lowest point, my children give me a new perspective. In the winter, when I’m overwhelmed by shoveling, snow blowing and blocked roads, their delight in building forts, burying each other in the white stuff and having a day off of school makes me realize that there is a bright side to the stormy days.
Last week, Brendan, Ellen and Thomas showed me that there also can be a positive side to the rainy weather we’ve had this spring and early summer.
One example of my children’s ability to make lemons out of lemonade occurred last Monday when I came home from work to find a roll of duct tape and a couple of scissors on the table, but no children in sight. When I called their names, they answered from the basement that they were sailing duct-tape boats in the water that covers the floor. They assured me that they had on their shoes and would take them off before entering the kitchen.
After a few minutes, they decided to try the boats out on a bigger lake, so they put on their hip waders and headed down the road a few hundred yards to one of the ponds in the field west of our house. The sailing expeditions went well until Maggie, our yellow Lab, decided to swim out to fetch one of boats. After she destroyed the boat, the boys decided they would do some wading.
They came home drenched and happy, excitedly talking about their water adventures.
The sunny side
Inspired by my children’s positive take on things, I decided that I would try to view the water from a different perspective when I went for a walk that night. I discovered that there were some positive things about the water, if I looked at it from an unbiased perspective.
One of the things I observed was the beauty of the evening sun glinting off of the ponds. Another was the sound of a chorus of frogs singing. Closer to the house, the water in the woods behind our house reminded me of the bayous that we toured in Louisiana earlier this spring. Like the swamps in Louisiana, ours also are attracting water fowl such as ducks, geese and cranes.
When I walked into our farm yard, I was struck by how green it is. The lawns, trees and pastures are lush and the garden is flourishing from the rain. The raspberries, juneberries and grapes are abundant with fruit and we can hardly keep up with our lettuce crop. Soon we’ll be picking peas and kohlrabi.
I know that the excessive rains have caused a lot of heartache and economic damage to farmers and homeowners across North Dakota and other parts of the northern Plains, so my aim here is not to make light of them. Indeed, at my own home, the water has, and still is, causing us plenty of headaches.
Looking on the bright side is a way to try and deal with water situations that we can’t change and that, I expect, will be with us for a while. I figure that facing the water woes with a positive attitude, a sense of humor and a lot of prayers is better than drowning in depression.