Thursday, April 7, 2011


Ditch-digging and maintenance of water channels was a springtime ritual in our family. Our house happened to be situated between a underground spring (above) and a pond (below). In addition, surface run-off water from the hillside and dirt road above flowed down across Nichols Street towards our yard, adding to the moisture problem. Thus, we did what we could to divert the flow of water.

This month I have written about our efforts with roadside ditches.  See Remembering Danvers (April). April was a wet time of year.

Regardless of the success of our ditches, some water was always seeping into our cellar. The underground spring was probably to blame. Even adding water-proof paint didn't help. The pressure of the water in the soil below the cellar floor was enough to push up and crack the painted cement. Water bubbled in along that crack, making a slight "singing" sound.  Stepping on the floor changed the music of the sound!

I remember watching Mommy do the laundry down there by the stone sinks. She wore big rubber boots and often stood in several inches of water as she manipulated the sheets and towels through that old wringer attached to the washing machine. Then she'd haul the basket of clean damp laundry outside into the sunshine and hang it with clothespins on the laundry lines down by the pond. In the spring boots were required there, too, because the pond water flooded the laundry yard.  Water was everywhere!

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