“Don’t worry, Dear.”

…so said my mother. Always commenting on my propensity to think “too much” about things…”Go out to play.” was her common refrain, and rightfully so, I suppose. She had no better thoughts for the direction of my mind, heaven bless her.

It was a very long time ago but I remember clearly of visiting the farm in Virginia in the summer of 1957. As the days unfolded I became completely aware of the extraordinary experience of the farm life, of how it was for my grandparents.

Granddad used 2 buckets to collect water from a well. The quenching of thrist, cooking, cleaning and laundry, bathing and brushing teeth made possible only with the water my granddad collected from the well and carried to the farmhouse, every day of the year.

By contrast in Philadelphia, our water was managed by a system and people that we would never see or get to know. The flip of a switch or the turn of a knob provided all utilities for the household. And subsequently and without fail, there appeard every month on the floor below the mail slot of the front door a bill for services rendered. How completely convenient for us! Poor Granddad.

But then, hadn’t Granddad chosen to abandon his indoor plumbing after it failed? Hadn’t he simply gone back to his tried and true reliable way of the well?


So the child wondered, “What would our family do if the switches and knobs stopped working at our house?”