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How An Empty Rain Barrel Taught Me A Lesson In Love

“I was wondering why there was hardly any water in the second rain barrel when the first rain barrel was almost full,” I told Somebody when I came back in from dumping some compost. “Then I found out that Somebody had left the valve open while they were cleaning the barrel.”

I was trying not to be angry, but it was hard. I had been praying for a couple of weeks for a good storm to refill the rain barrels. And now I discover the water valve of the nearly empty barrel to have been open during the last two or three storms.

Somebody frowned at me. “I didn’t open the valve while I was cleaning the barrel,” he said. Apparently Somebody was convinced that Little Somebody had perpetrated the act.

While it would have been well within Little Somebody’s character and reputation to have pulled something like that, this past summer Little Somebody was basically threatened with something close to death if he ever wasted rain barrel water again, and so I was inclined to believe Little Somebody’s immediate denial of having had anything to do with the misadventure.

“I guess the valve could have accidentally opened while I was rolling the barrel around,” Somebody said. But not nearly with enough sheepishness and/or repentance for my taste. (None at all, if the truth be told.) And note the use of passive voice in Somebody’s above statement. Somebody was still not accepting the blame for the problem.

“Well,” I retorted, “from now on, check!”

I am not nice when it comes to the loss of fifty gallons of garden water. Not nice at all.

Father is much nicer. We had more rain that very night. Which makes me think: perhaps the loving thing to do would have been to quietly turn off the valve, knowing that the oversight was an accident, and trust Father to replace the water?

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