Life in a Swamp

6 Feb

One of my readers asked me if we really live in a swamp. It’s not (yet) an actual swamp; I suppose a bog is more like it.

You’ve hear the song We Got Married in a Fever. Well, we bought this place in a fever. It was do-or-die.

I was living in a two bedroom place in Section 8 housing, and I would lose my certification when we got married, as our combined income would be well over the limit.  I was, essentially, going to be evicted; nicely, mind you, but evicted, none the less.  We had to find a place to live – and soon.

We had three girls between us, so we really needed three bedrooms. The two younger girls were the same age (eight), so they could share, but the older one, who was twelve,  needed her own space – and so did we! We spent a lot of time looking at townhomes and condos, but none of them really suited. (God was looking out for us, as two of the places we looked went downhill in a hurry!)  A friend from the bank found this house, and we decided to take it. We had absolutely no money for a down payment, but the price was W-A-Y below market value (That should have been a warning!) and the bank gave us a really good deal. I had recently left the bank (dating an auditor is a no-no when you are a teller) and The Squire was a long term employee who was not looking to leave any time soon.  A small loan from my brother-in-law and we were on our way. We settled and moved in the early winter.

The ground was frozen. When it thawed out, we were in for a big surprise! There were six – count ’em! six – springs in the front yard. It is not possible to walk from the house to the mailbox without treading water. We ended up having a pond dug, which encompassed three of the springs. There are two others near the house – one is the well we use, and the other is a sort of “reserve”; the overflow from both of those wells goes into the pond. We have a flow from the pond of three gallons a minute.  Another spring is in the middle of the front yard. There is one more spring in the middle of the flower bed outside the window.  This is a new development.

We live in a valley, and very, very close to sea level. The water is rising, whether Trump believes it or not, and this newest spring is probably due to that. There are also a number of soft spots in the front, where water simply pools.  These are also new.  I have become a bit of an expert on bog plants. Bog plants that like shade. Bog plants that like shade and the deer don’t like.

The back yard is a bit higher in elevation, and tends to stay dry, but when it rains, we get everybody’s water. There is a ditch between our property and the electric company’s right of way (what we call the Back Forty) and two people run their sump pumps down there. Nothing to be done about it, as water does tend to flow downhill, and technically it’s not on our land.

We call our home “The Rice Paddy”. I’ll let you figure it out!

2 Responses to “Life in a Swamp”

  1. tiggerlyss February 7, 2019 at 2:27 pm #

    Both of my children have fond memories of the Rice Paddy… both the outdoors (a nature reserve!) and the indoors (they always felt at peace there). My daughter talks about having a similar place when she has her own place. I doubt that she will ever be able to have such a thing if she does become a Methodist minister… they are one of the most nomadic religious leaders!

    • thisendoftheswamp February 7, 2019 at 7:12 pm #

      Peg, telling me your kids always felt at peace here is the nicest thing I’ve ever heard. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: