Living in the country isn’t all it’s made out to be. Yeah, I can’t see my neighbours and deer visit my yard every day. Cool. But after 23 years of that, the charm wears off and I just want reliable water. My house has two wells, but they’re old and shallow. While the main one works most of the year, summer is always a balancing act, trying to use as little water as possible while living a normal life. Sometimes it’s not enough, so I eat off paper plates and don’t shower as much as would be ideal in over 30°C weather. When it runs dry, the spare well fills in, with its stinking, greenish liquid that can’t possibly be safe to put out for my cats. As for human drinking water? Year round, it comes from a water cooler, with jugs that need to be refilled weekly in town — a 20-minute drive away! During the hottest summers, both wells run dry simultaneously. No more hand-washing — it’s all hand sanitizer. If I want a shower, I’ll use a friend’s. Need to flush the toilet? Fill a bucket from the grimy pond and pour it into the tank. So before you complain there wasn’t enough sun this summer, please think of the people like me who were able to shower year round. We appreciate it, as does anyone close enough to smell us.