Amazing Husbands

I love living with my husband.

Alan is the sort of man who knows a great deal but is very unassuming about it all. If we are riding in our trusty old Jeep pickup for instance– and ours is the oldest car in the area to survive these hideously pot-holed roads — he will note that it appears that someone (whom he names by some nickname like Ol’ Horsehead) has the contract with the municipality for maintenance these days.

“How do you know that?” I ask.

“You haven’t seen all his crappy old dump trucks going by?”

I never notice these kinds of things.

Alan knows when a car engine sounds bad. He listens for rattles, squeaks and bangs, and is constantly under the hood checking for failure of any kind. He is the only reason our 1987 Jeep Comanche is still in running order, here at the end of the road.

He built our house and almost all the furniture in it. I always joke, “If it isn’t upholstered, then Alan made it.” But even that isn’t true anymore. He just finished a beautiful Morris chair and we had it upholstered by professionals. They could learn a thing or two from my husband about craftsmanship.

But yesterday he simply stunned me.

We are planning to make a water feature out in front of our house and he needed to know where we buried the water line some seven years ago. He asked me; I said I thought I remembered but wasn’t sure.

Some time later I saw him walking back and forth outside the window where I write. Then he went around the side of the house and I saw through our large double doors that he was holding something in his hands. Curious, I got up and went out to see what he was up to.

He had a piece of wire bent at a right angle–– looking a bit like an elongated Allen wrench–– in each hand and was walking slowly back and forth. Suddenly the two rods pointing straight out in front of him swung in toward each other crossing themselves in front of his chest.

“That’s where the water line is,” He said.

“Oh, my God, you’re a water witch,” I said. “I never knew that!”

“No. Anyone can do it. Come here. I’ll show you.”

I took the rods in my hands and backtracked his path. Then I walked slowly forward and sure enough they swung in my hands and crossed over each other when I stepped over the place where he said the water line was.

“But how do you know to do that?” I asked.

“Oh, it’s something I picked up when I was working in Alaska. Whenever we had to find a water main, so we didn’t tear it out with the backhoe, we always did this.”

Well. Who knew?

  2 comments for “Amazing Husbands

  1. sc morgan
    28/08/2007 at 9:18 pm

    Gary. I’ll remember that about the willow.

    I knew there were dowsers because I grew up knowing one, my grandmother. She always used the flexible branch and it actually twisted the bark off the branch as it turned in her clenched fists- to prove to us she wasn’t playing tricks.

    But I never knew that anyone could do it with a metal rod or coat hanger, as you suggest is their real function. That might explain all the clothes on the floor of my kids’ rooms when they were growing up. 😉

  2. Gary
    28/08/2007 at 7:59 pm

    The wire coat hanger was invented for this purpose. Only later did people discover the thing was valuable for keeping clothes off the floor, at least in the rooms of adults.

    In this country, there is a constant dispute. Some insist a Y-shaped peach branch is best used for witching water. Others know it is a similarly shaped weeping willow branch.

    I hold with the latter group. Weeping willows grow best in soggy ground.

    Folktale addendum: never plant a weeping willow. When it dies, he who planted it dies.

    ~ G ~

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