It's Rooster Crow weekend in my little Rogue River berg. And you know what that means — I've been left high and dry.
I don't know what it is about cock-a-doodle-dooing that causes these annual water dramas. But this is the 12th year in a row I've been left holding the business end of a useless hose late in the day.
You'd think I'd come to accept these late-June aqua fiascoes as a part of life. Hasn't happened yet.
Last year, like the 10 before, after several frustrating attempts to get an irrigation pump going, I gave up and lived with crispy brown lawn and pathetic, gasping roses.
But I didn't like it. Not one little bit.
A few weeks ago, a certain gentleman of English distraction and I tried to create a fail-safe system with a patched-up pump affectionately known as Big Blue.
Poor Blue had cracked open when someone failed to drain the water out of it before the first freeze.
Because someone else cannot bear to see any machinery die at the dump, The Englishman took Big Blue to his home and welded its humongous metal boo-boo. Now this same someone had graciously offered to return my pump — provided I promised to bring Blue in from the cold in a timely manner.
It was agreed that, this year, Blue would be placed down at river level instead of up in the lawn. Certain people believe I agreed to the change because of their brilliant discourse on the physics of flow versus head. In reality I agreed because I couldn't bear to hear anyone again ever say: "That's why it's called a pump. Not a suck."
Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. (Upchuck.)
And so it came to be that one end of the intake hose went into the Rogue while the other was attached to Big Blue. The outtake line snaked up my seawall and into the new hose bib. The busted and beleaguered underground irrigation system was abandoned in favor of a simple rain bird.
The avian-looking sprinkler head was perched atop a shiny green tripod. The setup looked like a three-legged stork. I was hoping for a delivery of precious droplets of cool, clear water.
After being advised not to touch anything metal, I flipped the switch on Big Blue.
Good news: I wasn't electrocuted. Better news: Big Blue sucked.
Bad news: The pump lost prime after 10 seconds. Worse news: The weld spews water like Moby Dick's blowhole.
No worries, said The Englishman. Seems a plethora of pumps reside at his Cave Junction property. He has rescued them from hither and yon. He'll bring another over some fine day. There will (eventually) be water at Ruin on the Rogue, he assures.
"A promise is a promise," said T.E.
I suppose I should mention The Englishman was not actually on site to witness the fail-safe system fail. TE was safely out of state — surrounded by enough water to drown in, no doubt.
Meanwhile, back in Rogue River, I remain grateful for the cool wet spring and for every summer thunderstorm — especially if it brings on the wet stuff.
But cruel mercury is on the rise. And I am once again forced to hand-water my half-acre property via a shallow well pump that drizzles moisture into buckets with the same enthusiasm that I exhibit while schlepping said bucket up hill and down dale before sloshing droplets onto parched plants.
OK. OK. So I don't actually have any hills or dales. But it sure feels like it when you're on your 20th bucket.
Maybe I shouldn't complain. It's probably very good exercise. But did I mention I arrived home a few days ago only to discover the well pump had also lost its prime?
Yep. The Rooster Crow curse continues. For when it comes to water, I've got nothing to crow about.
Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.