The creek that runs along my quiet brick street has been very low for most of the summer, which made it a great place for William to play while we were working like gang busters trying to get the little house done for a new tenant. He was able to wade quite a distance out to catch crayfish and clams to film them with his tablet.
Despite all this evidence smack in front of our faces, it still came as a shock to be watching the news a couple weeks ago, to hear it said that we are officially in a moderate drought.
Since then, we've been mindful of the weather although it is hard to gauge. We have had very over cast days, and we've had some spritzing sorts of rain, a light drizzle that moves quickly through without any real accumulation. Although the retirement property is maybe 20 miles from here, the picture there could be completely different. We check in with my sister regularly.
Last weekend, when I went up to water the new raspberries, I gave them a good soaking, I also reluctantly lay them down and covered them with a good thick blanket of mulch and wet that too. I didn't feel as if I had a choice really. Not happy with the apples from several trees, the deer have been nibbling on those shoots. I was afraid if I left them upright, the deer would destroy them completely. It's what I would have done with them once it got good and cold anyway, but we've had multiple frosts and it has been in the forties at night.
In any case, when I was done with the work, I went inside to start dinner. Except that when I tried to wash my hands, there was no water. That is the first time that has happened in the three years that we've had the property. Tim went to the breaker box outside on the pole and shut off the power to the pump to avoid burning it up.
The well recovered within an hour and he was able to turn the pump back on, but that was a bit of a surprise. I decided not to shower there, but to wait until I was home.
Today, in the local paper, they asked everyone in town to voluntarily cut back on water usage.
Tim and I shook our heads and made uneasy jokes about 2020. Really, It has been a heck of a year. Pandemic. School closing. Windstorms. Crazy politics. Now a drought.
I wondered aloud whether we were going to expect some awful winter coming up. Just a couple winters ago, we wound up with more than 200 inches of snow falling in nearby Erie. "It would be about right," I said, 'if on top of everything else that's going on we have another record breaking winter."
Tim looked at me in his quiet Tim way. "That won't happen," he said. "The ground needs to be saturated for snow to fall and accumulate. If we're still in a drought, the water table will be too low."
2020 has been a year hasn't it? When New Year's Eve rolls around, I vote we all stay up. We need to make sure that 2020 actually leaves. Drag in 2021 by force if necessary.