Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I've been having thoughts about water today.
It's been very hot here in Kanab, Utah for about a month now, up into the mid- and high 90s. However, the humidity is low so it's almost bearable with enough air conditioning---and cold drinks. 
Marcie and Jim never go anywhere without a large supply of bottled water in the back of their car. They pass it out to anyone who needs it or would like it.
Other places, such as parts of Oklahoma, aren't so lucky. There the heat index, a combination of high temperatures and high humidity, is around 116 degrees today. Some people have air conditioned vehicles, work places, and homes, while many others have to do without. 
Ron Robinson in Turley, Oklahoma  writes "...extreme Heat Alert so we have turned A Third Place Community Center into a Cooling Station. Free Water, AC, and all our other services--food pantry, clothing, computers, TV, library, etc. Now off to see about setting up water station at the main bus stops here that have no shelter from elements. If you can drop off ice or water or lemonade, etc. much appreciated." Ron also pointed out that, as a heart patient, he has a car with A/C, cold juice and water available, A/C at the center and at home, but not all heart patients, especially in that area where life expectancy is significantly reduced, have access to those things.
Crystal Cheryl in Okmulgee, Oklahoma "...took some iced tea out to the city tree trimmers working in this heat -- sweet, lots of ice -- on a tray with real glasses. They [the workers] were resting in the shade on my back lawn and their faces lit up with big smiles when I came out with the cold drinks. Boy, did that make my day! Living in the blisssssss .... ♥ I think Ron inspired me. And I actually had to wrestle with myself. Had only a little ice made, and only half a pitcher of tea that I had just made -- was tempted to keep the tasty treat for myself. Such silly inner struggles with selfishness."
In the deserts of San Diego County in California, hundreds of people attempt to cross the border from Mexico for various reasons. They find hostility that extends to laws prohibiting others from providing food or water.
In March, before leaving for Utah for seven months, I volunteered for part of a day with Water Station, a group in San Diego County that places and regularly replenishes supplies of water at about 200 spots around the desert and other places people cross during blistering  summer heat. Many of those sites can only be reached by high clearance 4WD vehicles. No matter what your stand about illegal immigrants, they cannot die for lack of water.

 Do you know individuals or groups who freely and unselfishly provide water and cold drinks to others with no requirements or fanfare? Please tell about them in the Comments section here.


Yarntangler said...

While working at a pumpkin farm, on a popular "highway" outside of Tucson last fall, we had regular "visitors" asking for water. We kept gallon milk jugs, other containers, and apples for that purpose. We were told it was not against the law to supply the water or food as long as we didn't invite them in or drive them anywhere.

This, in a county where officials regularly followed Water Carriers into the desert and spilled the containers and arrested the participants if they protested.

spiritualastronomer said...

This is an email from my good friend, Charles: "A few years ago I ran into a group that was putting out those watering cans along S2 mileposts. Their truck had gotten stuck in the sand adjacent to M46. I stopped to give them a hand and had the pleasure of meeting John Hunter and his wife who headed the Water Station group when they showed up. Thanks for the blog and link to John's site. I certainly admire people who take the initiative to do things like this.

In Spirit, Charles"

AnnieSantiago said...

When I was walking the Via de la Plata last year, we foolishly began our trek in southern Spain (Seville) in August. Too late, we discovered that nearly all of the fountains listed in the guidebooks were dry as a bone. We got deep into a nature preserve in 100+ degree heat, to find NO WATER and the facility CLOSED! Dangerous! I found a small group of bombaderos (firemen)stationed nearby, and they gave us a bottle of their ice-cold water, then later drove to the nearest town and brought us back 4 liters of water to get us to the next village, about 28 kilometers away. They wouldn't take money for the water or for gasoline.

Another time, a local woman gave us water from her window along with a beautiful painted fan (see my blog on miracles). And yet another time, a man who looked like a young Anthony Quinn took us into his modest one-room home and fed us cold gazpacho!

People are very kind and generous when you need help!