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Sweeter Than Elderberry Wine
Mill the Wind


Joe had a kind of edge on folks as far as his being able to witch for water. Turns out there was nothing witchy about it, but a simple skill certain folks could master.

With a dug well came a need for a way to pump the life-giving water from the ground and this was done with the windmill. On their way across the state they had only the benefit of water from streams, and that was sometimes stagnant and nasty tasting because of insects, snakes, dead animals or disease causing bacteria.

Some pools were even poisonous. People built cisterns, caught the water off the roof tops and funneled that into pipes which was stored. The water became stale, often had mosquito larvae and was generally horrible tasting. A well with a windmill pumping clear, cold, clean water for the stock and the family was for the good of everyone. The whipping of the blades through the wind made a special, peaceful sound.

Whole families depended on the necessary clean water for prospering their stock and children. Joe made a good, extra living by offering his talent as someone who could find water, dig wells, and install windmills. Life was good and they were becoming prosperous. Bell was free of the hated asthma attacks as was her young son. Gertrude was developing into a strong, young girl, who had already learned womanly, survival crafts from her mother. Over the years trees had sprung up beside the windmill and this was where they invited folks for get togethers.

Joe, Ive asked the neighbors over for a picnic this week-end. Is that all right with you?

Joe could think of nothing he would rather do. Their neighbors were not that close in distance, but there was a tie that bound them together, and this was simply their honest desire to pursue the dream of living a satisfied life.

I think that is a great idea. I know Im ready for an evening of fun. This evening the summer air was as clean and clear as the water draining from the spigot Joe opened at night so the family could stand under it for a shower. The thought of having a social made the children play in happy anticipation. While they splashed, they scrubbed their bodies clean under, a moonlit sky.

Lets not linger too long, we might use up all the water out of the storage tank. I must water the garden and fruit trees tomorrow, Bell warned them. The produce was an essential part of their survival and she always thought about that. She didnt have to coerce them to a great extent to go inside, because the ever present wind was beginning to bring a chill on them and a warm bed, they knew, was waiting.


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