It didn’t rain overnight, which would have been nice because at the bottom of everything is a drought that has yet to be acknowledged by Massachusetts. Probably won’t be until we follow California and are completely out of water.

Meanwhile, with all the dams closed, the swamps drying out, the riverbeds mud with the occasional puddle — there is still some water. Not as much as we need, but some. New England is not usually an arid zone. Droughts are less common than flooding. Which is probably why we aren’t as good as we need to be at water management.


Most people, unless their well has gone dry — and there are plenty of us — are paying little attention to the dry streams and rivers, the receding waters on Whitin’s Pond. The disappearance of the water fowl because their environment is disappearing along with their food supply.

Yesterday, our well went dry. Overnight, because we turned off everything that uses water, taps, toilets, everything, a little bit of water has returned to the well. Not much and the quality of the water is closer to mud than something you might be able to drink.

We are still on bottled water for cooking and drinking. No laundry. No showers. Not yet. The well guy was here about an hour ago and will get back to us with a real world estimate. I think our front garden will have to be dug out so the trucks can get to the wellhead. At this point, that’s not one of my big worries. The garden’s a mess anyhow.

Our autumn woods

We don’t have the option of “city water.” There is no city water in this area. The well guy believes the well is repairable. We are counting on it because drilling a new one is crazy expensive. Especially on our land which is particularly rocky and uneven.

There are just two choices: drilling a new well or hydro-fracking.

SO. Hydro-fracking it will be. In case you missed it before, although the name is kind of scary, the process isn’t. It involves injecting water under high pressure into the bedrock foundation around a well to flush out particles and rock fragments from existing bedrock fissures or fractures. These are the channels in the bedrock that form the aquifer. Hydro-fracking clears out and sometimes can increase the size of existing fractures.

99% of the time, this will bring the well back up to snuff. If the well was ever good — and our well was fine and healthy until recently — it should be “like new.” There are a few other things that need to be done, what in the well biz is known as “servicing.”

I don’t know why I should be surprised. Everything else in the world needs servicing, so why not the well, right? Right.


I cannot express how very grateful I am to those of you have sent gifts to us. I can now arrange to get the work done … and best of all, get it done before the ground freezes. The idea of heading into the bitter winter weather without a dependable water source is the stuff of nightmares.

This has been so traumatic to Garry’s pride — and mine — that I think I’m finally past being embarrassed. I have moved on to deeply grateful, recognizing that perhaps after all, some of the good we do in this life comes back to us when we most need it. Asking for help was hard, but you — our friends and supporters — have truly revived my belief that there is still good in the world. I was, I admit, beginning to wonder.


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Categories: Blackstone River, Dams and Waterfalls, Nature, UPDATE!, Water

Tags: , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. I know this is an old song but I heard it for the first time recently at an anti government rally in Hobart. I think it sums things up pretty well. http://youtu.be/KEXQkrllGbA


  2. Mr & Mrs A… I believe the issues of “pride” and “embarrassment” to be highly overrated. We know what goeth before, yes? 😉

    Ah, and embarrassment… Steve Jobs is/was a really smart guy, even tho’ likely not the personality type I’d enjoy hanging with on a summer evening. He sums up embarrassment pretty well. “Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

    What the hell else are friends for? …XOXO


    • I am with you on this. Garry is having a hard time for a lot of reasons, at least in part because he was always the person to whom other people could turn when they needed help. He was great at giving help. Hasn’t had much practice at taking it.

      There’s always this gap between what we know and what we feel. I’m pragmatic. It’s how I survive. What I have to do to keep ahead of the wolves and alligators, I will do. I can lick my wounded pride later, when I’m safe.

      I know I’ve helped people in my life. With money, with a place to live, with all kinds of stuff. If I believe in Karma at all, I have to believe sometimes, the good we do comes back to us … not just the bad stuff. I think it was Oscar Wilde (but I could be wrong) who said “I don’t know why he hates me so much; I never did him a favor” or words to that effect. It’s one of those incomprehensible things.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve also been in that rare position of being one who “normally” or “usually” helps others. The first few times while growing up, against my will of course, I found myself being the one who needed help. It took a hella lot of time to understand karma and kismet and internalize them.

        Mr. A just needs to go out and drive fast, pretending he’s back to being Mr. McQ. 😉 Safely, of course. 😀


        • Yes, this isn’t my first time needing a rescue. But it is a first for Garry … and he’s … well … a man. He’s getting better. A little less grumpy today than yesterday. He’ll make it. It would probably be easier if he weren’t kind of a little famous.

          Liked by 1 person

          • LOL… gotta love that XY chromosome. We’re all fairly “famous” in our own ways, ain’t we now? 😉

            Of COURSE he’ll make it…. he found you and kept ya, right? Smart guy.


            • Yes, but Garry has a “face” and a public persona. He is definitely beginning to recover, though. Probably it’s because we can at least flush the toilets sometimes 🙂 And because so many friends have not only offered to help, but understand the problem and why it’s an emergency. We are, it would seem, NOT the only ones to get hit with a dry well.


  3. Reblogged this on Sunday Night Blog and commented:

    We all need a helping hand sometimes. We all need water all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you know, if it weren’t water, the whole urgency level would have been a lot lower. But specifically the well … it’s so fundamental to survival? And it’s a specialty. Not everyone has the equipment or knowledge to deal with them.


      • Your water woes are a reminder how fortunate are those of us who live on the Great Lakes. The lake is too big to freeze in the winter, of course my pipes could freeze. Water is our number one resource. That’s for sure.


        • Water is a bottom line, the single thing that we cannot live without, not even for a short time. Having a well go dry is terrifying, Mother Nature reminding us how much we depend on her. We can develop all the technology in the universe — but if the well runs dry, we are (not to be too punny I hope), up the creek.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. That is a bit of good news Marilyn. You have to have water, it’s not one of the things we can do without even when we’re poor. It’s good to read something about fracking that is not related to coal seam gas which is a pretty scary sort of fracking. Let’s hope you get some good winter rain anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just the word “fracking” made me uncomfortable, but in this case, yes, it’s harmless and necessary to keep water flowing. Today we sort of had water, but not drinkable or even good enough for personal washing. And not much. Muddy. We have to be really careful with water until we get it properly fixed. As long as it gets done before winter sets it and the ground freezes. Water is the bottom line for survival. There are alternatives for everything else — or you can do without it — but not water.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad that you are inching towards better news and still see the joy in photography. I have nothing to give, but love and virtual hugs and hopes of more good news.If I could help financially, it would be done.


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