Water is a precious gift

Growing up in northern New York, water was very important to me.
At our kitchen sink, we had two pumps. One was delicious drinking well water while the other was rainwater gathered in our cistern. This “soft” water was used for baths and laundry.
And we always had plenty of hot water in the tank in our wood stove, especially in the winter.
One of my favourite haunts on our farm was a quite large body of water that I called the “pond.” It was all that was left of a thriving sawmill used when they were clearing the North Country a century earlier.
I did a lot of my daydreaming as I sauntered around the edge of my special pond.
In northern New York, we were surrounded by all kinds of bodies of water –brooks and streams, small rivers and large, small lakes and large, small falls and large, including Niagara Falls only 250 miles away.
And many a Sunday afternoon, my family visited these wonders. But my favourite place of all time was Whetstone Gulf.
Whetstone was a narrow, deep gully with both banks planted with evergreens. At the bottom of the gulf was a sparkling clear stream. But what made Whetstone so special was that the stream had a slate bottom.
As children, we had to be very careful as we waded because slate can be very slippery when wet. After wading, we could use a large piece of slate as a tablet and a small piece as a pen, and draw pictures or write poems.
I still remember the fun!
One Sunday, we visited beautiful Lake Placid in the nearby Adirondack Mountains. And another time, Lake Bonaparte. As for rivers, the St. Lawrence, with its Thousand Islands, was, of course, the best.
When I visited as a girl, the international Thousand Islands Bridge, with its five majestic spans connecting the U.S. and Canada, recently had been constructed.
Early on, the new bridge saw 150,000 crossings a year. Now the traffic count is two million annually.
Although, I haven’t lived in northern New York for a long, long time, and I rarely visit, I still remember! And everywhere I go, I seek out bodies of water.
The Grand River in eastern Canada. The beautiful parks on the banks of the North Saskatchewan that winds through the city of Edmonton–our home for nine years.
Skating on Sand Creek in Kansas. Wading in the Atlantic Ocean. Camping at Long Lake in northern Canada, when it was so cold that our small daughter actually was blue when she got out of the water.
And I even found a nostalgic slate-bottomed stream on a day trip in Kansas! The memories go on.
What water memories do you have? Where did you fish or portage? What shores did you picnic on? What lakes and rivers of your childhood were special?
As you enjoy your memories, give thanks for water. Enjoy it, but never waste it. Always drink plenty of fresh pure water for your health.
And always remember that water is a precious gift!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@cox.net