For weeks now, our little town in New Hampshire have been experiencing severe drought conditions. For weeks and weeks, the North East hasn’t seen a whole lot of rain. In our town, we’ve cut back on watering lawns, washing cars, filling pools (except for the kiddie wading pools), and we are all trying to be quick with our showers, dish washing, and so on.
Luckily, the Crankee Yankee has a huge plastic trash barrel for water collection, so what rain we’ve gotten has filled it up. This is what we use to hand-water our garden, and so far, all’s well.
Even the bowls of “cat water” I put on the back porch for our cats, for the strays who come by and for the visiting birds; all are recycled back into the rain barrel when everyone’s had their fill. The Crankee Yankee and I have taken less showers, and the ones we take are quick ones.
I’ll admit that this type of weather doesn’t happen all that much in our part of the country, but this summer has been an exceptionally hot and dry one.
However, yesterday we got what Mark Twain would have called “a real toad strangler” rain. We had thunder and lightning briefly, and steady rain for a day and a half. It rained enough to cause our old leaky spots in the house (just the window in the office), and a few places on the back porch to drip. But fortunately, the rain fell softly enough for the ground to absorb and do some good.
I say all this about the rain because we are more and more cognizant about our resources, even the rain (over which we have no control). As we get older, we are trying more to conserve, reuse, recycle and re-purpose. It’s actually kind of fun, too. My mom used to say, ‘when you’re looking for, say; an end table, don’t just look at end tables. Look at other things that can be used as one.’
That bit of advice has come in handy more times than I can say. For example, we needed a long table in the office when we first moved in; one long enough to accommodate the computer, printer, speakers, standing files, trays for pens, paperclips, etc. The Crankee Yankee found a long counter top with a back-splash that worked perfectly—everything fits on it.
A few years back, we found a great little kitchen trolley at the Christmas Tree shop. We had planned to use it as a mobile kitchen island, but it quickly turned into a great place to keep our cast iron frying pans, cookie sheets and large pots. We parked it in near the stove in the kitchen, and it’s perfect; easy access to pots and pans, and best of all—everything is tidy and out of the way.
We also find that, at this stage of our lives, we just don’t need so much stuff. We occasionally put a “Free” table out to get rid of things we no longer need. My dad kindly gave us a terrific snowblower last year, so we are giving away the old one we’ve had for years.
Same with our old lawnmower—as we have gardens these days, not grass. And so it goes—there is always some young couple who needs a snowblower and can’t afford one, so we are glad to pass on things like this. Funny, isn’t it—when you’re young, you accumulate, and when you’re older, you start paring down.
So here we are, glad for rain and glad for people to who can use stuff we no longer need. It’s a great time of life, and since we cannot hold back time, we might as well enjoy the parade.