2015 Day 30: The Tale of the Water Witching

Have you ever heard of a water witching? Do you have any foggy idea of what this means? ¬†Well, in 1978 when we were looking for some property so we could build a house, I certainly had no idea of what this was about or even anyone who did this. Well, let me tell you–I have been there and seen it in action.

We found some property that was pretty close to town but not in a subdivision. We had this idea we wanted to live without neighbors. We wanted to be in the woods. Our kids were excited because they liked the idea of a country life, too. First of all, you need to know that just because you find some property, it doesn’t mean that the said property has modern conveniences-like electricity, cable television, natural gas, sewage, trash pickup or water. Now some of those items are easy to arrange. Electricity was not a really big deal. There was a line pretty close to our land and all the power company had to do was to extend it over the hill to our house. Whew! Natural gas was a no go. No lines in this area. So we went with propane gas. I had never used propane before but my mother-in-law had used it for years. So it was not a big deal. We had to find a propane gas company and get a tank and fill it up and we were in business. Check that off the list! Cable was a no go. We would have to pay for the lines and it made cable out of reach forever. So we did something else. Check that one off. No sewage lines? Just get a sceptic tank and field lines. Check again. Telephone? Ahh-run those lines under the power. Check again. Trash pickup? Well you just put the trash in your truck and take it yourself to the dump. I recycle a lot so we don’t really have much garbage-maybe one bag a week.

Let’s see. What did I not mention? Water. Yep. WATER. The life force for drinking, washing, cooking, flushing——WATER is very important. To run water lines to our house was only a little less than the national debt in 1979. What would we do? At that time, our neighbor and friend, Johnny, stepped up to the plate. “You need a well,” he said. “And I can help you”. How could he help was what I was thinking. He said he would help us on Saturday and we decided on a time. Saturday came and we met at his house. We started walking to the property when he made a little detour. He went to a peach tree and cut off a very specific kind of branch. It was like a capital Y. He told us he would use this peach branch to find where our well should be drilled. I plastered a smile on my face although in my heart I was a total non-believer in his method. Let me say for all of you reading—-this is crazy! He began to move over the property walking slowly and looking at his branch. He told us that when the branch dipped down, he had found a water source. We kept walking and watching. As he neared the place where we planned to build our house, the branch dipped down. It was a trick-I though. He marked the ground and then handed me the stick. He had me walk away from the area and then turn back. Oh my goodness, I felt a tug and the branch dipped down again. Even though I fought the dipping, the branch pulled down. The look on my face must have been priceless because he laughed at me. Then he showed my children how to use the stick to find water.

Well. We have a well at our house. It has been there since 1979 and has provided us with excellent water. And the way we found where to drill was determined by our friend Johnny using the peach tree branch and his skill as water witch. You know, sometimes things happen and you can’t explain it. You just go with it. And thus ends the tale of the water witch!