Change is Welling Up

When I got to be a grown up girl, but not quite ready to believe it, I got a job for the summer.  I was in charge of a water survey for the Huron County Health Department.  My job was to ask businesses, those businesses who served water to people, some questions:

  • Do you have a well?  (I knew what a well was, that one was easy.)
  • Where is your wells?  How deep?  Where is it?  Do you have a well log?
  • Is the welll casing grouted?  (Isn’t grout that stuff between the bathroom tiles that’s so darned hard to clean?)
  • Do you have a submersible pump?
  • Where is your pump?  Can I see it?
  • Do you have a pitless adapter?  (Huh?)

My  training was one day of riding around the county with an Sanitarian Tom, while he inspected sewage systems.   “Tomorrow you are on your own,”  Sanitarian Tom said.  What?  My heart skipped a beat.  It didn’t know a pitless adapter from a hole in the ground.

The next morning, Sanitarian Ed, a much more compassionate fellow advised me, “Start out at Coral Gables.  It’s close by, and the owner, Bill Baily, is a good guy.  If you get stuck, you can come back here, and ask questions.”   That was before cell-phones, lap-tops, e-mails, or text-messaging.  That was back when self-carbon paper was a great innovation.  I clamped official looking metal clipboard under my arm and headed for my Huron County Health Department car; a blue Ford sedan; no air-conditioning and no radio.  Tax-payers didn’t want government workers to be driving around the county in the lap of luxury.

Indeed, Bill Baily at Coral Gables was a good guy.  He offered me Continue reading


I loved the school I went to when I was a little girl.  All grades, K-12 went to the same school.  Grades K-4 stayed on the ground floor.  Grades 5, 6, and 7 climbed the six stairs to the next set of classrooms.  I knew when I was in 5th grade and I climbed those stairs, I was almost grown up.  High school was up another full flight of steps.  That’s where the teenagers went to school.  Teenagers were like people from another world.  Someday, I would be a teenager and go all the way up to the top of the stairs and carry my books and have a locker to keep my coat in.   That’s the way things worked at school.  Until we Annexed.

If I paid attention and if I was my usual puzzle-solver,  I could have figured out something was up.  Dad and Mom kept taking us to House for Sale, and saying “This would be the berries,” about just about every house they saw, even the ones Mom called “a Handy-man’s Delight”.  When we went camping, we visited a brand new school Up North.  Nobody, but nobody, visits schools in the middle of summer.  “This is just the berries,”  Mom said like always and she smiled down at me and Bonita and Deanna and smoothed out my collar, which was already just fine the way it was.  Dad walked around knocking on doors, picking at the brick and listening to the walls.  That’s what he did when Continue reading