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September 9, 2014

The Last Thing You Think About

Five-year drought, they said. Stage Five water restrictions, they said. When we arrived in Wichita Falls, we knew the history. We knew water was a commodity that we undervalued in St. Louis. We learned the difference between city water and well water. We knew that Levi may or may not have the opportunity to go swimming in the neighborhood. (He gets to enjoy the pool only because the neighborhood association is paying for well water to be delivered weekly.) We knew that there would be no sprinklers running or people washing their cars outside. Grass would be dying around the city and trees and plants would be barely hangng on. We saw all of that.

One thing no one tells you about drought is how the ground changes. The ground drys out and begins to shift, snapping the pipes in the process. The precious water bursts forth and bubbles up from the ground to flood the street. In the past two weeks, our street has had this happen twice. The breaks were only 15 feet apart. When the pipes break, your water gets shut off as fast as the water company can get workers on the scene. Depending on the severity of the break, your water can be off a couple hours or for most of the day. The first break was at Wednesday around 9 AM and the second break around 8 PM on Saturday night. Needless to say, life gets rearranged when your water is suddenly gone.

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