water witching (dowsing):
Dowsing is a type of divination employed in attempts to locate ground water, buried metals or ores, gemstones, oil, gravesites, and many other objects and materials, as well as so-called currents of earth radiation, without the use of scientific apparatus.
Before modern water systems were put in at the farm the families who lived here walked down to a spring in the woods-this meant that there wasn’t a well on the property. In order to be more efficient and save we’ll be putting in a well in time for the animals and fall crops who will need it. I’m not sure how Nathan came across someone to water witch for us, but as normally happens, he casually mentioned to me one morning before heading out the door that he was meeting our “water witch” to determine the best place for our new well. This will go into the “city girl meets country boy” file, for sure. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I’m guessing it’s what I have seen in the movies. Maybe a Turtle Man look alike carrying humongous tree limbs exaggerating each step across the farm. Instead, I was greeted by a gentleman who looked dress for a round of golf carrying two tiny sticks-they wouldn’t have even held up a marshmallow for roasting. He walked and talked and carried the tiny sticks around until he finally said, “well, you pretty much have water all over the property-so put the well wherever you want to.” Not the dramatic well witching story I was expecting, but you can be certain we will have plenty of drama along the way.
The guerillas had rifled the bureau drawers, taking what they wanted. One of them seized a big shawl which Mrs. Barnes was wearing. A lady of great courage and determination, she held on the shawl and wouldn’t let the man have it, whereupon he threatened to shoot her if she didn’t give it to him. To that she replied, “Well, go ahead and shoot. You won’t rob me of many days.” Another of the raiders said, “aw, let her have it.” So she kept the shawl.
Makes me wonder if she wanted to keep her shawl for warmth or because it would be the only thing left of her once she was gone. Did someone keep the shawl in remembrance of her feisty spirit telling that story over and over again? I bet my grandmother would have been one of those women who wouldn’t have given up her shawl…and I hope in my old age I’m one of those women too.