Friday, August 7, 2009

A Dry Spell

I am in a bit of a writing drought here.

This week I went back to work. With no kids, no controversy, and no one but the principal and three other staff members around, I mostly stared at my computer screen (minus the Twitter and Facebook tabs), changed my Pandora station every couple of hours, called some people, filled my cup at the water cooler, wrote some emails, and updated some forms.

My job, alas, is mostly reactive. And there's only so much preparation for reaction one can do.

Speaking of droughts, though, we're officially on a Water Shortage Emergency in this county. Since the beginning of June, Mandatory Water Use Restrictions have been in place and we are tasked with reducing our average usage or face penalties.

Problem is, our H2O usage at home dropped dramatically in the past year. Mostly because we've been responsible citizens way too busy to water our yard (plus, it rained once in April) and also too busy too fix the clogged kitchen faucet which reduced our flow to very gentle stream. I became a little stressed about the specter of fines for not conserving further; I mean, how low can you go? I whined inside, while others wrote impassioned letters to the city and the paper bemoaning this plan to punish the people who've been good all along.

Right before the restrictions came to pass, however, my husband saved the day.

One May morning I awoke to the sound of a peaceful river flowing in the backyard outside the bedroom window. When I groggily opened the back door, I discovered water gushing like Niagara Falls over the cement retaining wall leading to the crawlspace beneath our house.

Heroic husband had left a hose on, watering the peach tree in the backyard, All Night Long. Which turned out to be, you know, overkill.

I won't explain how much money it cost to pump out the moat we created beneath our hardwood floors, and to pay the company to generously plug in and leave their mind-numbing fans blowing on all sides of our house for four days straight, because I am sure we are going to recoup the cost in our water bill savings over the next year, seeing as how that month's usage alone, averaged in with the other months of conservation, gave us that nice little cushion to go ahead and cut back.

Oh, and we also stopped bathing our children in July. What? C'mon, they went to the beach or the pool almost every day! At least once a week.

I'm pretty sure the City Treasurer is going to give us a gold star for our efforts.

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