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, I’ve 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
I’m 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.
“Let’s 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
didn’t 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.