My Mississippi Trip – or how not to get water from a well

I know that everybody has their own way of remembering things. I try to remember the funny. I know that if I can’t laugh at my self, life isn’t much fun!

On one occasion the humor came from Mississippi in the late 60’s or early 70’s. We had driven down in a Chevy and pulled a camping trailer. Dad managed to get two weeks off in July. So we set off to Mississippi in July… anybody else thinking that this was a bad idea? I wish they had told my family! We went to see my Aunts, Uncles and cousins in Mississippi in July. Yep, hot, humid and really out of my depth! We parked the trailer in Aunt Shirley and Uncle Chester’s drive and spent most of the time visiting in the house. It was about the second or third day that I noticed that the sheets seemed to stay damp. Even trying to hang them out didn’t dry them out. Humidity anybody? In Colorado our sheets would dry in 10 mins or less in the summer!

I also remember they had a well. And a bucket. Yep, klutzy kid story alert! Everybody had a job. With eight kids and company everybody got to help. One day my assigned job was get water from the well. Yep, you all know where this is headed but keep reading, hopefully laughing with me.  I walked out to the well with one of my cousins, I don’t seem to remember which one. One of them had shown me how to lower and raise the bucket earlier. I felt very proud of my knowledge! Of course I can get the water just watch.

Being a Girl Scout I was very confident in my knot tying skills. After all I had gotten a merit badge for it! Right over left and under and left over right and under. There you have it! A knot that would have raised the titanic! Or so I thought. Lowering the bucket was easy – gravity works! Then I pulled on the rope to get the nice clean well water. Wow, this isn’t heavy at all. What is all the fuss all about? Bringing up the bucket was almost as easy as lowering it. The problem came when the end of the rope made it to the top of the well and I noticed something was missing… the bucket! My left over right must not have been as sturdy as I thought. I stood looking at the end of the rope like the bucket was going to magically appear. It DIDN’T. The cousin that was with me gave a huge sigh and suggested I get my Cousin Chester Allen. Not sure what to do, I did what they said. I had assumed that the bucket had been whisked away in some strange underground river never to be seen again.

When I had to tell my cousin what I had done he gave another HEAVY sigh. “OK.” was all he said. He grabbed a fishing pole and after several attempts to get the handle of the bucket, he connected. The bucket was empty, thinking that it was still my job to get the water I tried to grab it. Thinking that I would repeat the process and tie it on more securely. At this time one of the other cousins had come out to see what was going on, said “No, let me!” Feeling very embarrassed I let them. For the rest of the visit guess who was NEVER let even near the well? And just in case I ventured too close to the well. My cousin left the fishing pole next to the well.

May all of your cousins be willing to fish out your bucket from the bottom of the well. And may all of your relatives have a sense of humor. I know that somewhere along the line this story will be told again at the family reunion. Laugh and the world laughs with you –