The Well


Thursday, July 25, 2013

After years of putting up with a hand dug, shallow well, at the suggestion of our plumber, we contracted to have a new well dug.  When I mentioned this to our neighbors, Ralph and Brenda Miller, Ralph said about 30 years ago he and his Dad helped Peter Strange, the former owner, with the well one day.  They climbed down in it and found an old corn cob pipe. Ralph imagined that a farmer was drawing water one day and dropped his pipe.  Amazing that it had survived in the well for all those years. 

Summer 1999

When we first arrived here about a dozen or more years ago we wondered about the outhouse.  It’s a rather deluxe design with two seats and windows to take in the water view.  One early vacation, we discovered the hard way that having an outhouse was extremely useful.  The weather had been sunny and hot and we had all been out on the sailboat.  I cannot remember exactly, but the first person in the shower was out of water before rinsing off.  The well was dry.  OMG! I remember giving Lisa a broom and asking her to sweep out the outhouse.  In spite of a fear of spiders, she did a good job and the old outhouse was now ready.  This promised to be a new and memorable experience for the family from away.

Lisa on Queen Rock, Summer 1999, age 11


Dan on Queen Rock, Summer 1999, age 14

The plumber did arrive and got the water going again, but on and off over the years we could expect the well to go dry.  We instituted a system of bottled drinking water to save on the water level, but with the lack of a good well, we have been lugging  laundry to Carolyn’s Wash All in town.  We do have a dryer at the cottage, which is helpful.   I would not mind lugging the laundry except that Carolyn’s Wash All, was shiny and new in 1999 and every summer is less and less of a pleasant experience.  Although not my favorite destination, I generally stop there first and have the washers timed to the exact minute.  You can can a lot done during the 40 minute cycle.  

Chris the plumber suggested two different companies to dig the well and one is owned by Rudy’s nephew.  Even so, Peter negotiated hard at getting the price of the job to a reasonable number.  On Monday it rained so there was no action on the well.  On Tuesday, the big back hoe arrived and the crew cleared the area around the old well.  Wednesday, the job began.  Peter hung out most of the day to watch the progress with an old man on the job.  Mo, explained the process.  He deemed the depth of the dig to be excellent and that the water would be plentiful for years to come.  Yesterday at 4 p.m. The Well Crew departed for the day and Peter came inside.  He casually mentioned we would not have any water, hot or cold, until sometime on Thursday.  ICK.  No shower tonight, glad I did an easy Yoga session.  

Once the trucks had cleared the drive I took off to get the laundry done, pick up a few things at Woodworkers Home Hardware and buy the deep sea scallops we have been dreaming of.  As I left, Peter was at the old well with a bucket on a rope filling empty water containers with water for washing, etc. inside the cottage till the well was connected and complete.   The well guy, Colin told us to call the plumber for a final check of the system before the well was finalized on Thursday.  So, we called, and called, but of course, there was no answer.  This morning I got Chris’s wife on the phone and although she indicated he was very busy, she would get a message to him as we did not have water.  Excellent!  And now, as I write, Chris has arrived to save the day.  The well guys are not back yet, but since we have their backhoe, I imagine they will turn up sooner or later . . . 

The only thing left to do now is to convince Peter that today would be the perfect day to go to town and buy a new washing machine! Wish me luck . . . 


6 responses »

  1. Having lived with a well for 19 years, I feel your pain. However, we were lucky to be able to use the old well while the new one was being installed and pumped out. This will make your summer even more fabulous.
    PS out house is cute and a lifesaver.


  2. Wow, you really are Back to Basics, using the Laundromat and an Outhouse! By now, you probably have water again and, maybe even a washing machine! Glad you will be there long enough to enjoy the new additions. We are still in Vancouver enjoying fantastic weather. We are doing the Hop On & Off Trolley Tour today. Taking bikes out again this afternoon to ride around the city. Bikes are everywhere here! Tomorrow, a seaplane tour in the am then over to Grouse Mountain and Capilano. We leave for FL at 6 Monday am. Way to early for me 😦


  3. KJ, I had no idea you and David were in Vancouver, BC. We have always wanted to visit there. Your trip sounds very exciting and even though you are departing soon, you squeezed a lot into your visit! We hope to see you this winter in Sarasota. That would certainly make Dot very happy! I would be happy, too!


  4. I admit it's difficult to imagine you with broom in hand against a room full of spider webs. However, both Dad and I remember you proudly managed to sweep out the outhouse! Our weekend was great. We started with fog this a.m. and now it's another picture perfect sunny day, complete with cool breeze. . .


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