Water

By DON BEHM

Recently while watching the news, they reported that water has returned to the number one spot as favorite liquid. Soft drinks had held that spot for many years. Coffee is over 99% water but is not quite the same as drinking water. I always have both at meals. Jean usually just drinks coffee with her meal. She does drink water when she takes her pills.

Our kids took us out for dinner one evening. They ordered soft drinks, Jean ordered coffee and I told the waitress that I had an unusual request. I ordered water. They used to call water “on the city.” When they brought our bill, the water wasn’t  “on the city,” it was 50 cents.

I have written several stories about water. You have probably read them before but they are worth reading again. I’ll start with the one I like best. It was during the depression and a hobo came to our home for a little food. When he saw all of us kids he did not ask for food but asked mom for a glass of water. He drank the water and started to leave. He gave mom 50 cents. He told her to buy a bag of oranges for us kids, which is what my mother did with the money.

It was Christmas Day during the depression. We had nothing and no reason to celebrate Christmas. My mother had a quarter. She dipped it in holy water and then gave it to Dad, telling him to put it into one of the slot machines. Dad hit the jackpot, which was $20 and came home with a gunnysack of food. We had a great Christmas.

In 1952, the Missouri River went on a rampage. Probably the worst flood the white man had ever seen it. Jean’s parents farmed about three miles from the river. We went to help them move rugs and furniture. When we were done inside we had to load their cattle in two trucks to take them to Omaha to sell. It was about 3 a.m. when we were done and left for Missouri Valley. The river had cut the road and we had to go back to Highway 30, which was also under water but not cut. The water was about a foot high over the highway but we got back to Missouri Valley with the two tractors and their car. About two weeks later, the river was back in its banks and they returned home. Their house was high enough that no water got into it.

Most of the time water is our best friend but it can also be our worst enemy.

There are 10,000 water stories and these are a few of them.