Conversations around the well

We have a well in our front yard to supply water to our house.  Who the hell knows why the well was put in the FRONT yard.  But, it is what it is, and we have to do the best we can with what we have.

When we moved into our house, the well looked like this:

Let me explain what we have here.  To start the red capped things is our well, our artesian well.   This means, according to Wikipedia, that this well is under positive pressure.  "This causes the water level in a well to rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached. Water may even reach the ground surface if the natural pressure is high enough, in which case the well is called a flowing artesian well." 

Folks, we had a flowing artesian well.  This means that the well just leaks and leaks and leaks because the the pressure is so high.  The water just wants to leave the pipe.  The whole area around the well was just a wet mess.  A good 6 foot radius around the well was a wet mess.  Yuck! My father thinks it could be an amazing resource on a farm, but we are not a farm...again, it is in our front yard!

The previous owners tried to fix it with some DIY thing that involved a drain and cement. The black thing in the picture above is the drain.  It may have worked for a bit, but it failed.  So, we called our well guy, they came out and fixed it.  Basically he added a stack to the well that is high enough to manage the pressure.  The stack needs to be this high so that no water overflows. Our well now looks like this:
Yup, you are looking at a 4 1/2 foot PVC pipe that is, again, IN OUR FRONT YARD.  Isn't it just so pretty?!

In the picture you are looking at our garage, and that white streak is our front sidewalk.  You get the jist of how obvious this stack is. 

Ok, what am I getting around this with all this? And how does it relate to being married to a pilot?  'Conversations around the well', is what I am getting around to.


The other day we got home from work/school and our new recycle bin had blow away in the wind.  It literally went all the way down the street.  While retrieving it, the kids and I met a new neighbor.  To clarify, he has been in the house for about 1 1/2 years, but we just hadn't met yet.  To identify which home was ours, I mentioned that we have a 4 1/2 foot tall white PVC pipe, "you know, for our leaky well."  Apparently, he has this problem too, which was an instant conversation maker. We also talked about other home projects, as he also bought a fixer-upper.

And how does this pertain to being a pilot wife?  My point in all this is that I never once told him that Steve was a pilot.  I never once gave him the impression that Steve was NOT home at the moment.  Why?  I got a slight weird vibe from him, and I wanted to watch myself.  No, it isn't that I go around telling everyone that Steve is a pilot when I first meet them.  But, when you first meet a neighbor there is a lot of the first date questions, like "where did you move from?" "what do you do for a living?" I made a point to steer clear of any of those questions.

I should add that this guy may be totally cool, but he was sort of quiet and I didn't know how to read him.  Since our encounter we have exchanged texts back and forth about wells and roof/siding contractors, so I would like to form a friendly neighborhood relationship with the guy.  But still, I won't tell him that my husband isn't home some nights.  I need to feel this guy out a good bit before I give him any personal information.

This isn't the first time that either Steve and I have watched ourselves.  I recall a time, at our old house, where a guy down the street installed glass block in our window basements.  He was a professional who owned a glass block business, who happened to live near us.  Steve was home during his initial visit, and was chatting it up with the guy.  The guy asked him what he does, which then lead to a number of questions.  The man was asking some pretty specific questions, but since we really didn't know this man Steve was pretty careful with his answers.  At one point, the man asked Steve how often he is gone, and his response was "well, I am pretty senior, so that means I just do day-trips and I am home every night."  Um, not the truth at all, but it gave the man no impression that Steve was ever gone for the night.

We both have demonstrated caution when coming across certain people.  Both of these men may be the best type of guy you can find, but we just know better then to figure out things too late.  My attitude is that one can never be too careful when it comes to matters of safety.


A couple evening later, I was chatting it up with our next door neighbor. We are really fortunate to live next to such a great family.  During our conversation, which happened to be right by the well, which my neighbor actually used to lean against I might add, another neighbor was on her nightly walk.

She stopped her walk, came into our yard and we all started chatting.  She mention that the other night, of course while her husband, who never travels for work, was gone because he was helping his parents come back from Florida, the spring on her garage door broke.  Apparently, this break meant that the door would not open and her car was stuck inside.  It was quite the 9pm at night...of course, while her husband was not home.  I mention that her husband wasn't home a couple times, because she was very clear to make that point.  I don't know this neighbor very well, so my responses were things like "stuff like that always happens when your husband is away" and "that sucks" and "good that the garage door people was able to come out and fix it so quickly."

The words that came out of my mouth were nice and empathetic, but my mind was screaming "oh yeah, you think that is rough...let me tell you about rough.  Let me tell you about all the shit things that happen when my husband is gone."  I could have listed off a number of events.  But, that would have been mean. 

In her world, this sucked.  There is no reason that I needed to "one up" her.  This isn't the first time that something like this has happened.  There are plenty of times when someone will complain about this or that when it comes to their spouse being away, and I try my best, and usually succeed, in just offering my support and let them vent things out. 

So there you have it, the conversations around our well. I know us pilot wives have all watched what we say around certain people.  And I am sure that pilots have all watched what is said around certain people, as well.  And I know that we have all wanted to "one-up" someone bitching about their latest home disaster when their husband is away.  It is just part of this lifestyle,.

Steve and I are still thinking about how we will be hiding/covering/masking this pipe.   I don't want a garden there, so thanks for the suggestion.  I want to decide what I plant where.  I don't want a damn pipe to tell me a garden needs to go there.  We are considering turning it into either a light post or an address post.  We are just going to live with some design ideas for a while until we decide on what to do exactly.


  1. We are always careful not to say when Todd isn't home either. He's been with the airlines forever so fortunately he can bid whatever he wants but he still has the commute to O'Hare that causes time away, boooo!

    Go on the cruise!!!! We went to Disneyworld 3 times over the last year & a half BUT the cruise was amazing. Both are but the cruise is simple, way simple. You can go to your room when needed, the characters are everywhere vs waiting in line forever at parks, Disney owns Castaway Cay so you are the only boat there, disney themed shows during the day and night, free disney movies in your room, etc. It's pretty fun!

    1. OK, so we really may go on the cruise!!! I called Steve up pretty quickly after you posted this. We love cruising, and the kids love Disney, so it seems like a perfect combo. Vacation bids are in October, so we will know for sure then!

  2. You are so spot on! We do the same verbal dances, trying not to divulge more information than needed.

    Oh, and our well post thing is thigh high (3'??)- in the middle of our front yard, too! I like the idea of turning it into a designed address post. Hmmm, sounds like something I might need to explore this summer!

    1. glad to hear I am not the only one with a well in the front yard :) We can be in misery together.

  3. I feel the SAME way sometimes when my friends complain how their husband is out of town for like 2 days. I want to be like, really? You are complaining to me about this? ha ha. And yes, the list I could give to people about the crap that happens when he's gone. My favorite is just this past winter when it was below freezing and our heat went out. So both kids and I are huddled in my bedroom with a space heater... good times. :) I'm so happy I found your blog, it's so nice to hear about other pilot wives lives

    1. "good times" love it! Maybe we should put together a list of worst stories about when our pilot is away. We could all laugh and cry together.

  4. Oh, and could you plant some really cool, tall plants in the area of your well to some what cover it?

    1. we thought about plants, but my neighbor keeps stressing how our front yard is PERFECT for sports since it is big and flat. Therefore, I don't want any gardens that could be trampled on...because I am sure a prized bush would just get trampled once the kids get into sports. A big piece of wood to cover it as an address post seems the better know, so it can knock the kids down if they run into it. I kid, I kid :)

  5. My wife doesn't know anything other than me being gone half or more of her life. We have been married 26 years, but only together for 13... Probably about 12 if I figure the nasty days of junior seniority. When she hears her friends talking about their husbands having to work late on Thursdays, it does not compute.

    1. Junior seniority is nasty! That is one of the worst times for pilot families, both for the pilot and the homefront.

      Your perspective about the time away is interesting. It almost makes me want to keep a log of all the time Steve is away and really see how much he is gone.


Post a Comment