Water on the Farm – The Spring

The Whirlwind Hill farm never, as far as I know, lacked water. My ancestors chose well when they settled there. Natural springs flowed through the fields and down the hills. Muddy River provided water for animals, fish for dinner, and fertile land for crops.

The Whirlwind Hill land I own with my brother shares many of these springs, one of which flows from the cow pond, under the lane, and onto our property. My parents dug a well when they built the house. This well water, although abundant, displeased my mother who found it too “hard” (too full of minerals). She put a water softener in the basement because, she said, softer water made for a better lather and a good “soak in the tub.” But we avoided drinking the bad tasting softened water and bemoaned the impossible-to-rinse-off soap film left on our bodies after bathing.

Now that I’m an urban dweller I turn on my faucets with near-certainty that water will flow into my teakettle or onto my sudsy dishes. Our water is always cold. It always tastes good. It’s always available. But there’s nothing quite so exhilarating as the icy water from an underground spring. It feels new and sparkling as it escapes from its source and meanders over rocks and vegetation, through the culvert, and on into the green, green fields.

"Spring Water Under the Lane," Carol Crump Bryner, pencil, 2013

“Spring Water Under the Lane,” Carol Crump Bryner, pencil, 2013

On Friday:  June Window

6 thoughts on “Water on the Farm – The Spring

  1. Michael Foster

    Carol, you have hit another memory that, for me, means Whirlwind Hill and home. While we weren’t lucky enough to have a flowing spring, the water that came from our deep well was the sweetest and best tasting that I have found anywhere. My great grandfather put a free-standing spigot in the yard not far from the back door of the cottage that would later become our home. After a long bike ride, hike, work in the fields or just some basketball in the summer sun, there was nothing that could quench your thirst like that cold stream of water. We never bothered with a cup but just sucked it in from the tap. If you were really hot, you drenched your whole head. Like yours, my parents added a softener for washing. After tasting it, my father bypassed the softener for the outdoor faucet and the faucet at the kitchen sink. We always had the “hard stuff” for drinking and the taste remains one of my enduring memories. Thanks again for stirring one of those elemental experiences.

    1. Carol Post author

      I like that idea of having the “hard” stuff for drinking. My grandparents had a pump in the kitchen at the end of the sink when I was really young. And before my time there was a big black pump in the front yard that I’ve heard had wonderful cold water.

    1. Carol Post author

      And she had a way of making her strong opinions seem like “the truth.” I still think of Snicker’s Bars as “good wholesome food,” as she described them. (Maybe it was because they had peanuts in them.)


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