Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lesson 184: Some Things Gotta Change

Some Things Gotta Change

This is a piggy back post to my September 6th blog, Lesson 183:  Some Things Never Change.  My words in that piece were all true.  Some things really do never change for me; like those I love, my poor depth perception, and malfunctioning short term memory.  But with other things in life, like my water well, somethings gotta change.

The parcel of land my parents gave me to put my house on had a water well on it already.  It was located 10 feet away from my creek, so I thought we'd be in pretty good shape.  It turns out the well was a drilled well, which does not hold the volume of water a dug well does.  The Lamp Post water source only holds about 88 gallons of water.  When this water only had to provide drinks for the livestock that used to roam the land, it's production was adequate.  When a family began to depend on it for the washing of bodies and clothes, and the like, it became taxed and we had to learn how to conserve.  That was fine when my children were babies.  Now that they are getting older, their clothes are bigger and I can't get through the day with just one load of laundry anymore, sometimes there are two.  Sam hasn't even started organized sports yet, making even more laundry with uniforms and such, but he's been recruited.  Look at what he got at Open House last night:

The kids have friends over frequently which equates to more toilet flushes, more drinks, and more water use.  The girls are Hair Monsters like their Momma, and it takes a good five minute to rinse the soap and conditioner through.  Undeniably we are using more water, and turning off the faucet when we brush our teeth isn't cutting it anymore.

On top of it all, the water itself has iron in it.  This means my water, when coming out of my well untreated, is an orangeish color and has a horrid smell to it.  Left untreated the water would destroy my appliances in a matter of months.  An expensive filtration system had to be added to the Lamp Post, just to make our water usable.  The ironizer is now fifteen years old and is breaking down.  It constantly malfunctions and has needed continual maintenance.

As much as I am attached to my historic old well, I know that it's life has run its course.  It was good for a time and place, but I must face the fact that I will be continually putting band aids on it to just make it work.  It is a tiring process.

After much discussion with my folks and several well drillers, we had to admit here at the Lamp Post that the time has come for a new well.  Yes, this was not in my budget.  I can think of many more fun things I'd rather dump thousands of my hard earned dollars into.  But one must consider cost over time.  The constant repair of the filtration system is $200 bucks a pop.  There was talk of the need of a new system all together which could cost $5,000.  The well needs to be bailed and surged--$600.  All for a well that holds 88 gallons of water to ration to my growing family.  It just doesn't make sense to try to maintain that old well anymore.

So if any of you know of a Water Witch in the area, Wisdom, my favorite willow tree has offered me up some of her branches to help me search out a good spot to dig it.  (Don't panic, Slovenians.  Eloise has not given up Christianity for Wicca.  A Water Witch is someone who has the ability to find groundwater by holding a willow branch in their hands.)  This is a Google Image of a water witch.  See, he looks like a nice man.

I caution you if you do Google Image the term.  If you don't add willow branch along with the term water witch, you get things like this:

I really don't want him running around the Lamp Post.  Eloise is a chicken and gets creeped out quite easily!

The dilemma over my water well reminds me of how we are looking at schools today, not just in my town, but all over the nation.  Schools constructed 50 years ago are barely adequate for the demands of education today.  I think of tiny Clark, the elementary school I hold a special love for, and wonder if she's the best thing for our kids.  Has she become the old well?

Public schools are supported by tax dollars, so everyone has a right to have a say in how their money is spent.  Some see new schools as frivolous and wasteful when a perfectly good building still exists.  After all, why should I drill a new well when I still have 88 gallons of rusty water trickling from mine?  Sometimes it is more responsible to invest in something that will pay off long term. But try explaining that to a senior citizen.

Attached to the bottom of this blog is an amazing video from Corning Glass.  It shows a glimpse of a family "In the Near Future" as they go about their day.  The technology will amaze you.  The very thought of some of those things being in the Lamp Post someday soon excites me.  I always wanted to live in the Jetson's house, and Readers, we are almost there.

Meet Elroy.  I realized today that he's the graduating class of 2025.  The video below will one day be his norm.  Unbelievable.

Elroy is holding a couple of pieces from the solar system he made the other night.  School is good for him.  He came home with this head wear the other day.  There are three things I totally love about teaching elementary school:  when little kids wear things on their heads like this, when they lose their front teeth, and when they sing Rudolph.  Chokes me up every time.

Sixth Graders don't wear things on their heads anymore, their teeth are covered with expensive metal and bands, and they refuse to sing Rudolph.  But they do make cool All About Me posters for Open House displays.  Here's Judy.

There isn't a third Jetson child, so you get introduced to this one by her real name.  School is always good for Natalie, my high schooler, who is wearing her 5K shirt that she smoked us all in.  Who would have thunk it?

 Their world is going to be different than my own, I must admit.  I'm scared and excited for what will be available to them when they are my age.  Photovoltaic glass?  Touch sensitive, thermally durable, electronic enabling GLASS?  Watch the video at the bottom of this post and you can see for yourself.  Folks, if they are making videos of this stuff, it means it IS in development.

My heart leaped when I saw the appliance veneer glass.  Oh the possibilities for my photos on my refrigerator!  I'd have to give up this though:

That is my refrigerator.  Look closely.  You can learn a lot about a person by what is displayed on their refrigerator.  My mother HATES it, by the way.  She makes a face at it every time she comes over to my house.  She's super neat.  Super organized.  And super annoyed at my haphazard display of my life.  I tell her that my refrigerator door display is just a symbolic manifestation of my brain.  To this she just lights up another cigarette....

And one of the turds in my house keeps doing this to Handsome!

It's been a silent war, but I am going to catch the little vandal this weekend.  I just know it.

When you watch the video, also take note of the work surface of the woman when she goes to her design job.  I believe the material is called work surface display glass.  Could this be the classroom desk of the Near Future?  I believe it will be.  Yet we have to ask ourselves, when the rest of the school districts around us have touch sensitive display glass and we still have these; when is it time to give up tradition?

The bulk of our population is made up of Baby Boomers.  My parents in their 60's are the beginning of that.  They have all the time in the world to vote, go to public meetings, and voice their opinions while people like me are running around trying to hold the country together.  To my Readers of this generation in particular, Eloise urges you to keep an open mind.  What was good enough for you, is NOT going to be good enough for my children.  If we don't keep moving forward, everyone else is going to pass us by while we are stuck clinging to tradition sitting in these very desks.  Keep this in mind when you consider a tax increase to improve your neighborhood school and voice your opinion about it.

Some things are GOING to change.  I can smell it in the air.  I found this left on the lap top screen.  It must be Ellen's notes about her blog she is going to write.  She is going to open Life Inside the Lamp Post on her twelfth birthday later this month.  When I want to sneak a peek at what she's up to, I don't have to find her diary and unlock it with a tiny, silver key.  Instead I have to figure out the keypad code on her phone.  Notice she didn't write a paper draft --we save trees around here--she brainstorms her ideas on the computer screen and trashes them in the cyber recycling bin when she's done with them.  Ellen already knows the home row keys as a sixth grader--something I didn't learn until I was a sophomore in high school.

And upon closer examination of her bulleted list--FAITH HILL?!?!  What is Ellen up to?  Yikes, says Mother Eloise.

Readers, there is a way to blend tradition with progress. If something no longer works for you, from a water well, a school desk, or even a relationship, there are times when it is best to move on to find something that functions better. Trust Eloise.  I assure you that schools will never give up construction paper hats and singing Rudolph at Christmastime.  However, the All About Me displays will probably appear on photovoltaic glass.  Times are changing and Eloise urges you to enjoy the ride, not resist it.

Take the full five minutes to watch the video A Day Made of Glass.  Consider it your homework for the weekend.  And Moms, I wonder if you'll ask yourself the same question I did:  How does this woman get up at 7:00, get her family ready for school, and get into her car looking beautiful (and calm) by 7:20?  And she heads off to her dream job in fashion design, nonetheless!  Forget what I said about that video being a real possibility In the Very Near Future.  That is complete fantasy!

Enjoy your weekend!

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