#WDYS — The Best of Both Worlds

My wife wanted a quaint cottage on the water.

I wanted a rustic cabin in the mountains.

Then we found this place.

It was the best of both worlds.

It fulfilled our hopes and dreams.

And made us both very happy.

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: Pixabay.

SoCS — Water, Water Everywhere

Yesterday, fellow blogger Marilyn Armstrong posted a rare — for her — piece of fiction. She wove a yarn about a woman named Maggie who had received residential water bill in the amount of $5,000 dollars. The water company claimed that she had used half a million gallons of water even though her modest house that she lived alone in was on a 6,000 square foot plot of land and had just one bathroom.

Marilyn’s yarn reminded me of something that happened to me when my two kids were quite young, so in the mid-eighties. But the story I’m about to relate to you is not a piece of fiction. It’s not a fanciful tale or a charming yarn. It is a recounting of actual events.

It started during a particularly severe heat wave. Temperatures were hovering in the upper nineties for days. Late one afternoon I came home from work and took note of how green our front lawn was when all of the other front lawns in the neighborhood were brown.

I walked into the house through the garage and saw my wife in the kitchen putting the final touches on our dinner. I kissed her hello and then said, “I just noticed how green our lawn is.”

She looked at me and smiled. She said, “Well, you know how hot it’s been, right? So I put out our lawn sprinkler and the kids have been playing in the water in the front yard in their bathing suits to cool off. They have such a great time and, as a bonus, our grass is beautifully green.”

I honestly didn’t give it much thought after that, especially since the heat wave had finally broken a few days later and the daily sprinkler games had ended.

Before I continue with my story, I have to remind you that this took place in the mid-eighties, when the costs of gas, electric, and water utilities were very inexpensive compared with those utility costs today. I must also point out that my quarterly water bill at the time averaged around fifty dollars.

So when I opened up my water bill that arrived about three weeks later, I was shocked to see a quarterly invoice for about $800. Like Maggie, the protagonist in Marilyn’s yarn, I called the water utility company and complained that something was wrong. They said they’d look into it and they even sent someone to my house to check the water meter and to check the system for leaks.

The meter was fine, I was told, and there were no leaks in the water system. But there was a span of about six days — days that happened to be coincident with the severe heat wave from about a month earlier — where my water usage had spiked to around ten times our home’s average daily use.

After hearing what the water company’s findings were, I asked my wife to remind me about that period of time when she let the kids play in the sprinkler. “How long each day did the kids play in the sprinkler during the heat wave?” I asked her.

“I don’t know exactly,” she said. “I’d turn on the sprinkler probably mid-morning and turn it off by late afternoon. Why do you ask?”

I told her about our $800 quarterly water bill and told her that it was about sixteen times more than our typical quarterly water bill. And then I told her how much water we consumed during that period when she had the sprinkler going for most of the days during the heat wave.

My wife got a very confused look on her face. She then said to me, “I don’t understand how this could happen. I thought we only got charged for the hot water we use.”

This true story was written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where we are asked to use the word “yarn” in our posts.

So Many Words

9670BE73-11FD-4242-AD7A-860EA68E3836As many of you who read my blog know, I try to incorporate four or five daily prompt words into a post each day. In addition to my Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, there’s the Word of the Day Challenge, the Ragtag Daily Prompt, the Your Daily Word Prompt, and, more recently, the Daily Spur.

Now two other bloggers have upped the ante. Roger Shipp has resurrected his popular Daily Addictions prompt and Nova has brought back her Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt.

So today we are offered seven daily words: productive, pollution, adversity, drive, puzzle, target, and youthful.

Okay, the gauntlet has been thrown and I’m going to pick it up now.

“Our nation is facing a serious crisis. Pollution of the air we breathe and the water we drink is bringing about a potential environmental catastrophe,” the candidate said.

“It is critical that we, as citizens, come together and target the crisis with productive approaches,” she continued. “This is not a puzzle that is unsolvable. We need to apply your youthful exuberance to drive this country toward cleaner air and water and to overcome the adversity that doing nothing will bring about. It’s your futures that are at stake. Thank you.”

The candidate for student council president received a standing ovation from Miss Brown’s first grade class.

Weekend Trek

“Okay,” Jake shouted. “As your scout leader and mentor, it’s my job to make sure that you are all prepared for this trek. I can see that you all have suitable footwear, so that’s taken care of.”

Jake looked around at the eager hikers. “Simon, you have the compass, right? We need to make sure we are headed in the right direction.”

“Check!” yelled Simon, proudly holding up his compass.

“Jimmy,” Jake said, “You’ve got the food, right?”

“You betcha, boss,” Jimmy responded, holding a duffle bag.

“Tommy,” You’re the water boy, so you’ve got the extra canteens, right?” Jake asked.

“That I am, sir,” Tommy said.

“And, Joe, you got the bazooka, right? Jake asked.

Simon, Tommy, and Jimmy looked at one another, each wondering why they would need a bazooka for a weekend hike. They all looked over at Joe.

Joe pointed to a backpack on the ground next to his feet. He opened it up, reached in, and grabbed a handful of wrapped bubble gum and threw a few pieces to each of the other scouts. “Yessiree,” he said. “My nickname, after all, is Bazooka Joe and you’re my gang!”966C02CB-6FB8-47F6-9427-65D57D17F891

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (mentor), Weekly Prompts (footwear), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (compass), and Word of the Day Challenge (bazooka).