Lisa Currie

By Lisa Currie

I think I am turning into my grandmother. Oh, that’s not such a bad thing as my grandmother Golladay was a hard-working kind woman — stern but good. Yes….my older brother Bill and my cousins remind me often that I am just as bossy as my grandmother, god rest her soul. So, I get that part of me honestly, but I think I have more of her characteristics than I ever thought. I see myself turning into my grandmother every time I save water.

To explain: My grandmother had a bucket outside the back door for “gray water” from the kitchen sink. In the summer months, it was rare that she would allow water to just go down the drain. She saved the water in the sink and used it to water her outside plants, hence the bucket at the back door.

Yeah….we save rain water in barrels and water from the air conditioner in a huge galvanized tub.

And when Virginia’s July and August gives us these 90-degree temperatures with little rain, water becomes a valuable commodity in Toms Brook, a commodity that is not wasted. So, I feel like my grandmother — carrying buckets of water to the flower beds.

On a daily basis, I can save probably 20 to 30 gallons of water, five-gallon buckets that leave the kitchen sink, left over from canning vegetables or washing vegetables — the gray water — just soapy water from washing a few dishes or a few dirty hands. It’s just dirt to return to dirt!

Well, I think I have made about 100 trips out my back door this year with a bucket of water. I’m saving every drop I can to water the plants because we have had so very little rain (sometimes we don’t get the rain of our neighbors Strasburg and Woodstock). The ground is dry several inches below the surface. So, when I throw the water to the plants, the ground sucks it up immediately.

You may laugh, but water is no laughing matter to me. Many of us take water for granted — it’s always there when we open the tap. I’ve been many places in the world where this idea of water from the tap is not a given — it’s a privilege. Therefore, I respect that water.

So, turn that tap off when you are standing there running water down the drain. Or better yet, put a pan under that tap and save that water for later use. You might start to feel just like my Grandmother Golladay too. Watch out if that happens! You will start being bossy like her granddaughter.

Toms Brook resident Lisa Currie is a retired professor of English as another language and an adviser at the Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown. She has worked at The Shenandoah Valley Herald and various other newspapers in Virginia.