“Cool, Clear, Spring Water”


One of the many things we learned after we were living in the house was that the water came from a spring up the hill from the house.(This is a spitting image of ours at the time.) A pipe ran from the spring into the house. Since we had acquired a mortgage from a local bank based on our ability to pay, there had been no home inspection. In retrospect, I might have worried about contamination, but I never gave it a thought. We were in the middle of the “back to the land” movement among everyone we knew, and it seemed very “authentic.”

The house came with several chickens and a nasty rooster. The chickens laid willy-nilly, so the eggs were of no use for eating. The rooster came at me several times, and I used to leave 2X4’s strategically around the yard to fend him off. Fortunately, he disappeared one night, whether by coyote or the neighbor, I never knew. A student of mine gave me a milk goat named Darla, and we kept her in what had been the outhouse over night. In the day we attached her to a rope on a pulley on a long clothesline so she could munch away. She gave prodigious amounts of milk morning and evening, and I learned to make goat cheese and goat yogurt in addition to drinking goat’s milk. I was nursing my daughter throughout this time, and it felt like my life was completely milkcentric.

Things were going all right, so I thought. But sadly, trouble was just under the surface. It began when the spring ran dry for the first time ever. Then a pack of wild dogs attacked and gravely injured Darla, who I eventually had to put down. Then our marriage came apart. I don’t write about living people without their express permission, so I will leave all the details out of this post. Suffice it to say, my time in the woods came to an end.

I was going to have to find a new place to live with my daughter. And I did.

9 thoughts on ““Cool, Clear, Spring Water”

  1. I love the outdoors but I am not too fond of the woods. Growing up is girls had to fetch firewood deep in the woods and it was never play in the park. We got mosquito bites, bad scartches from thorns and on… To this day I cannot joyfully go camping in the woods without being taken back to that part of my childhood memories. I am sorry that your marriage fell apart then. I admire the person you are Miss Elizabeth 💝.


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