Water in the Rural - For
“There will be wars and
rumors of wars,” so states a writer of antiquity.
There was a war, without
question. The battle was close and real. The war, though, was on poverty,
which came as something that was abstract and illusive. There were no
lines of demarcation, no marching troupes and not any fronts. Instead,
insidious little playing of games sometimes actually led to the death of
the participants, literally or figuratively, maybe just through the
ruining of one or another’s reputation or credibility, or like Mathee’s
husband who had actually lost his life. Maude Chessawalla gave up her
life. They would receive no medals for valor. How could they when, no war
in reality existed or had actually been declared. Valiant they were with a
warrior’s heart to know what they wanted for their children and did say so
with words like, “This country has freedom. Why can’t we? Don’t we have
the right to be free of poverty?”
Mathee was still in
mourning for her husband but took the time to call on Velma at her home.
Velma stopped all her activities and immediately sat with her friend while
they drank coffee together. Soft breezes blew through the house and picked
up the sweet scent of honeysuckle her own mother so enjoyed. Giant old
trees stood around the place and cooled those same breezes. The house was
modest but the total surrounding of the structure with thoughtful
landscaping created an oasis of sorts for anyone who wished to take a
moment away from the weight of their problems. Still, Mathee wasn’t a
woman to hesitate in giving a reason for her visit.
“You know our house is
finished?” She opened the conversation. The quiet little kitchen seemed to
wrap its arms around these two old friends. They were bound together with
shared experiences in the time when girlish laughter was a part of their
life. Both the women’s only flaw was to be born into poverty and yet, to
have been so beautiful. Mathee was small and delicate with a personality
of sweetness that had not been destroyed even with her having lived
“Well, yes! I do know. Have
you moved your family into it?” Velma’s intuitive sensitivities caused her
to often suspect the situation before it was revealed by a person.
“I have to tell you it has
been miserable.” Mathee tilted her head to one side as she did when
“Whatever is wrong?” Velma
gave the woman her whole attention.
“The rural water has not
reached our place yet. We had a terrible time while trying to provide
water for the feast and funeral. So many people came from all over. There
was no water to drink or for cooking so the children were all having to
carry water in those big cans. It was all we could do. Here we were
grieving, but still, people had to be made comfortable with food and
water. I cooked outside under the arbor because we can’t use the house
until we have water. Of course, you know how pleasant it is to be outside
and how we all seem to crave that like the old folks lived. Our company
was outside, most of the time, under the arbors in the fresh air. It isn’t
hard for the young people to quickly learn to enjoy the same thing. We
have a refrigerator out there and the beds are nice, too.
“Oh my! Velma was a little
more than disturbed. She was angry. “You go on home, Mathee. Let me worry
about this. Surely, something can be done.” With usual, clear-thinking
Velma knew just how to address the problem.