Saturday, August 9, 2008

Precious Resources

*Note from Camey: Please watch the name of the author at the bottom of each post before commenting.

Last night, we had just sat down to dinner, when there was a knock at the front door. It was a guy from our local water company who was driving through the neighborhood looking for green heard grass. And anywhere he saw green grass, he pulled up, stopped, and went up to the front door of that home and knocked. Which was why he was now knocking on our door...because we have green grass.

The man from our water company proceeded to explain to me that the reason he had stopped and interrupted my highly nutritious Pizza Hut dinner, was because he saw our green grass. Not trying to be a Mr. Smarty Pants, I said to the man, "thank you, I'm glad you like it." Unfortunately, the man was not there to bestow an award for the greenest lawn in our neighborhood. To the contrary, he launched into this somewhat probing interrogation relative to my watering habits...which I must confess caught me just a little off guard.

"How many days a week do you water? What days of the week do you water? Do you water on even numbered days or do you water on odd numbered days? Do you water between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM on any day of the week regardless of whether it's an odd or even numbered day?

Now the Paul Harvey as to why this young man was now standing on my front door step has to do with more than the fact that I have some green grass in my front lawn. Several weeks ago the water company had sent out a letter telling all the residents of the neighborhood that the water well that provided water to our quaint little village was running dangerously low because of the hot temperatures and high demand for water. The letter had specifically instructed all residents not to water between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Furthermore (now I'm sounding like a lawyer, right?), according to the instructions contained in this letter, if your address ended in an even number, like mine, you could only water on even numbered days of the week...but only before 8:00 AM or after 8:00 PM. The letter contained a similar admonishment for those water mongering odd numbered residents.

Well it seems that the water level in the water well has not recovered, and in fact, has now reached a critical stage. If drastic conservation measures are not initiated immediately the neighborhood could temporarily be without water in a matter of days and until such time as the water company can drill an additional well. Which brings us back to my dinner time visit from the water company representative. The water company has apparently decided that if you have any green grass in your yard, you must somehow be in violation of the aforementioned water edict. So the pointed questioning as to the true nature of my aquatic habits continued unabated.

I must admit that at this point I was beginning to feel like I was back in the fifth grade at North Euless Elementary School being lectured by Ms. Morrison, my fifth grade teacher after someone ratted me out for stuffing papertowels in the drain of one of the sinks in the boy's bathroom and turning on the water. She kept me after school that day for what seemed like at least six hours...which I think it was only an hour, but to a ten year old wanting to get home and play, it was an eternity. Ms. Morrison went into great detail with me about why we should respect God's creation and the precious resources He gave to us to sustain life on this little blue planet. She read to me the Genesis account of creation from the big ol' family Bible she had on her bookshelf, and she told me horrifying stories of kids my same age in other parts of the world who were dying because they lacked enough clean water to drink. Then, she made me write on the blackboard 100 times that "I will respect God's creation and not waste water ever again." That's a long sentence for a 10 year old...especially when you're having to write it 100 times!

But you know what? I can promise you that after the lecture I received from Ms. Morrison that day some 36 years ago, I have never, ever, ever, knowingly wasted water. What's more, I have always been keenly aware of God's incredible creation and of the awesome responibility we all been charged with by God to care for it. Whether it's the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, or other resources he has blessed us with, we are God's stewards and caretakers of His creation. How sad that we so often take for granted the gifts we have have been given...many times until it's too late. One day, we are going to run out of something that God has given us, like water...and we won't be able to just drill another they are planning to do in our neighborhood.

Oh yes, the nice young man at my door - where did I leave off? Oh yeah, I explained to the fellow that the reason I had greener grass than both my even and odd neighbors, was because I happened to have an anaerobic septic system. The kind that cleans the water to the point where its cleaner than our lake water, and then waters the yard with it. Our's is the newest house in our neighborhood, and by the time we built it seven years ago, all the building codes had changed and traditional septic systems were no longer allowed. No one else had a septic system like ours. Obviously this nice young man wasn't aware of that fact. After several minutes of explaining the finer nuiances of our septic system to the guy...while my highly nutritious yet somewhat cold pizza dinner awaited...he went away - I think still somewhat skeptical.

However, I appreciated the reminder of just how precious the things God has given us are. And that includes a lot more than just water!


M. Steve Heartsill said...

Or you could have simply told him that your family really has a need to go to the restroom quite often and that keeps the lawn well watered day in and day out...

Or you could have asked him if going to the bathroom was off limits as well, other than at appointed times???

Bill (cycleguy) said...

May your grass always be greener! See, I have more couth (or however you spell that silly word) than Steve.

Micky said...

I just found it hard to believe that a company would pay an employee to go around patrolling neighborhoods for green grass. What a job!