Browsing Archives for Small Town Stories

I struggle with paying the water bill. I used to write about these struggles on a semi-annual basis, but sometimes in life it really is best to move on.  However, a few short months ago, I received yet another letter from my Rural Water Department, chastising me for once again not sending them the proper funds. Evidently I had miscalculated and wound up under-paying my bill by quite a significant amount.  This oversight resulted in the usual letter written in angry red ink with lots of arrows and exclamation points and circles and double underlines emphasizing my error, from the person at the Rural Water Department whom I refer to as ‘the red ink lady at the RWD’.

Why do I struggle so with paying the water bill?   It’s a long story, but let’s just say that our local RWD places far too much responsibility of the monitoring and reporting of household water usage on the actual inhabitants of said households. Also – in order to get the correct numbers to send to the RWD (along with the proper remittance) a long uphill hike is involved followed by reaching into a spidery hole, followed by trying to read numbers inside of a spidery hole, followed by writing down those numbers in a shaky spidery hole panic, and since none of those things are particularly pleasant, I usually opt to guess the amount of water we have used for the month.  Turns out – I am not a very good guesser.  And then I get another letter from the ‘red ink lady at the RWD’.

In protest of the latest red-inked letter  I received from the red ink lady at the RWD, I actually included a note with my delinquent payment and asked why the corrective letters are always written in red ink? Why not the more calming blue… or the more understated black? Even a peppy purple or a soothing mint green would be better than the caustic red that makes one feel like one has miserably failed an essay exam.

To this she replied in our next bill – “Red ink is the color typically used by accountants.”



Maybe I will send her one of those fancy pens with all the different colors of ink for Christmas. Then she can quickly switch from ‘angry accounting red’ to ‘not at all antagonizing blue’ when she scratches out the next letter of reprimand to me.

Which brings me to my latest chapter in my personal RWD wrestling match.

I sat down to pay bills on Monday, but I ran out of 44 cent stamps before I got to the water bill. Fortunately I had a huge collection of one, two and three cent stamps accumulated over years and years of stamp price raising. I decided to use them all up on the water bill. I wonder what the ‘red ink lady’ will think? Maybe I should have drawn a smiley face somewhere to make sure she knew I meant no harm?  But as you can see… there really wasn’t room for a smiley face.

The Country Doctor was horrified that I sent this letter.

But the Country Doctor has never reached his hand into a spidery hole after an uphill climb has he?

So his horror is somewhat pale in comparison to mine.

Tales from the Exam Room

October 20th, 2009

This post originally ran in April 2007

The country doctor had the sad task today to inform a nice elderly lady that she had cancer. The lady came in with her husband and they sat together in the office while the country doctor went over the various options for her treatment.

After the lady and the doctor had talked quite a while, the country doctor turned towards the husband who had been silent throughout the entire discussion.

“Bob” asked the country doctor wanting to comfort the man, “Do you have any questions?”

Bob was silent for quite a while and then he said, “Well…I have this hole…right here in my tooth – and I can stick the end of a toothpick all the way in it. Do I have a cavity?”

Swimwear for Deer Hunters

August 31st, 2009

My boys in their natural habitat.

Buried in dirt.

Finding dead things.

Soaking up the sun.

And I got to see my husband in his sexy orange swim trunks again.

Who makes orange swimwear for men?

Who does this?

And why?

Why would they do this?

Is it swimwear with a built in warning?

Is it swimwear to increase your visibility to other swimmers?

Is it swimwear for deer hunters?

Is it swimwear for highway workers in flood conditions?

Why orange?

Dear God!