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My Knight With a Water Pump

On the Farm . . . what's been happening this week in words and pictures

This has been a crazy week for us. We are getting ready for our organic certification inspection next week, trying to get a bigger cooler installed in the pack shed (the pack shed is where we wash and pack boxes) and starting the first week of summer shares.

And a water pipe broke. Actually it had been broken for several months and slowly got worse. It's a pipe that comes off our main outside line and continues to a shed we aren't using but may in the future. We procrastinated taking care of it because it wasn't that hard to work around, we were worried about the cost, and we couldn't decide whether to fix or cap it.

We dealt with it by keeping the affected water lines turned off except when we needed to fill a bucket, irrigate vegetable fields or wash produce. Unfortunately when we turned it on (several times a day), a pool started to form above leak. Our dog, Bindi, considered it her personal wading hole to cool off in.

With the greater quantity of water we now need and the leak getting worse, we couldn't put it off any longer, this was the week to fix it.

Fortunately our neighbor brought his back hoe over. He and Bill guessed where the break was and started digging. They found the water pipe eight feet down, Bill purchased the correct fittings and fixed the crack. Now the hole is filled in with sand and dirt. No more water leak.

Bindi's missing her watering hole, but I am relieved it is fixed.

With all the stress of this week (inspection, broken pipe, summer shares, weeds growing - weeds always growing!) I am amazed by all the versatile abilities my husband possesses. It is why we are able to have a farm business on an old farmstead without much capital to replace worn-out machinery or buildings. Bill keeps us up and running.

It reminds me of when I first realized he was a guy I could count on.

My parents, along with a partner, owned a motel in Spring Green for many years. Twenty-two years ago Spring Green experienced a lot of rain in a few days time (an event that repeated itself in 2008 and ended up closing the motel for good). It caused water to fill the partial basement of the office/residence part of the motel and collapsed one of the sewage tanks, leading to a back-up.

It was the start of tourist season so the motel rooms were full. I was working and living at the motel with my sister, Nicole. We were wakened early that Sunday morning by the offensive smell. My parents' business partner, also the manager, lived next door and came right over. We soon had several shop vacuums running to remove the accumulating water and sewage. It was obvious we were falling behind. It was Sunday, and the local hardware store was closed. We didn't know what to do.

I remembered that Bill, the guy I recently started dating, had told me about having to pump his basement out a few years before so I called him for ideas. He was at his parents' place in Blue River (only 6 miles from where we now live). I explained the predicament. He said, "I'll be right there," and hung up.

Arriving a short time later with his heavy-duty pump, he took one look at the situation, took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his pants, waded into the knee-deep mess and pumped out the basement. I don't think he even wrinkled his nose. I won points with the manager for bringing this capable guy in. More importantly, I think I fell in love with Bill at that moment.

As a young girl influenced by Disney, I never dreamed my tall, dark and handsome knight would show up with a pump to solve a smelly problem instead of with shining armor and a white steed to carry me away into the sunset.

But he did, and little did I know of the road that lay ahead us and how often I would rely on his willingness to walk into a mess and do his best to help not only me but others as well.

I might wish he was a little more romantic sometimes or wanted to discuss his feelings once in a while (or even acknowledge he has feelings!), but I am certain I wouldn't want anyone else by my side farming this land. And I'm not ready to ride off into the sunset yet.

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