Waiting on Water

Life was about waiting on the water.

We would pump the handle until it ran into the bucket, then carry it carefully and slowly home. We waited while it heated, only using some for the hand washing basin. We waited while the soup cooked, the bread rose, and the butter churned.

We waited in line for a bath in the big metal tub. The lye soap scrubbed us raw and red, but we were finally clean. I waited until my older sisters grew up and were married off so I could finally get to bathe first and have hot water!

We washed our clothes in the tub too, when the stream was frozen. But I liked the summer washing days, because we would swim in the lake while the clothes dried. The water was cool and refreshing.

We waited for the rain to water the crops and the garden. The harvest depended on it. We depended on the harvest. The crops we didn’t can and store would be sold to pay off debts and buy necessities. I was going to need a dowry as well.

So when the water didn’t come for weeks, we had only our tears to drink.

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