Tonight the sky clouded over and we heard a hint of thunder in the distance.
We are experiencing the worst drought our area has seen in fifty years; another five days without rain, and it will be the worst in a century.
Our children can't play on the lawn anymore, because it is parched and prickly. The places where we usually loll and picnic and dream have become inhospitably and perhaps irretrievably dry.My gardens are dying before my eyes, and I can't spare the water to hydrate them. Rural dwellers have been asked to reduce their water consumption by 20%, and I watch each drop that my children use like a miser.
I've created a sign for our washroom, reminding them to only flush when it's absolutely necessary, and tomorrow I'll be cleaning out their closets so that they can only go through one or two outfits a day; I hope to reduce the amount of laundry I do by limiting their wardrobes.
Tonight, four of us got clean after camping in 5 inches of bathwater. I always think, "Ew!" when I read about pioneer families doing that, but I get it now. We can't risk our well going dry, and can't afford the luxury of full, deep tubs of clean water for each of the five members of our family. One bath a week for the kids (they go to swimming lessons daily in a local lake, so will stay clean that way), and as few as the parents can manage is the plan for now. Our dishwasher kicked the bucket a few months ago, so we've already reduced our water consumption by washing the dishes by hand, but tomorrow I'll limit the kids to one cup each, to be reused throughout the day.
Our pond (which is usually full till late summer) is almost completely dry. The deciduous trees in the bush surrounding our property have shrivelled to nothing, and our apple trees are beginning to turn yellow.
This evening, after the kids were bathed, we went outside to wait for the storm, watching the skies with hope for our well, and for our friends who farm locally and are going to incredible lengths to help their crops survive this drought.
It still hasn't come and I think, perhaps, the rain has passed us by again.
Whether you live nearby or far away, please send a prayer our way.