Friday, September 21, 2012


I’ve been watching pieces of planks being cut, nailed and finagled together for months now. Every so often, I’d ask Jeremy how his medieval torture device was coming along which was mostly responded to with smirks and grunts. This water wheel has been the farm obsession for a while. “It’ll let us pump water to a tank to feed the gardens which will make them more productive in the dry season, raising profits and making the garden initiative more sustainable,” my farmer husband explained to me. I remained skeptical, looking more at the time, labor and material investment that was going into this project. But several weeks ago, during one discussion (argument) regarding division of labor and family priorities, I made the heart decision to be a more admiring and supportive wife. Truth be told I had been feeling like I was taking a back seat to the farm and I was asking for help. But when Jeremy would talk about the water wheel in his farm voice, and about the production possibilities frontier in his accountant voice, I would see a twinkle in his eye  - far be it from me to steal the twinkle from my beau.
Anyway. I decided that I would support this venture, come hell or high water. Even if that meant doing my ow business all by my onesie and receiving Jeremy home at the end of the day tired, hungry and D.I.R.T.Y. When black hose and green straps and all manner of craziness started going on that thing, I redirected my tongue and started praying that it would just work. I was really worried that after all the blood, sweat and tears, that Jeremy and the guys would be left with disappointment. And a heap of firewood.

And so when last Friday, Jeremy came and said, “We’re starting to roll it down the hill, wanna watch?” I prayed, “Dear Lord, may this please excite Jeremy. And let him be encouraged. And let no one die. Amen.” I prayed for a spirit of admiration towards my hubs for the hour or so it took them to roll the water wheel down the hill to the river. With all of the heaving and ho-ing the guys were doing, it was actually kind of funny.

When it got to the bank of the river and had a six foot ledge to navigate, I actually started to really worry. Jeremy was in the river acting like he was going to catch this thing and I could see on all of the guys faces that they themselves knew they were not going to be able to ease this gargantuan object nicely into the water. I called Jeremy over and said calmly, “Sweetheart, I’m concerned.” When, “don’t worry, I’ve got it under control,” was his reply, the tears started filling my eyes and I clarified, “but I think you are about to die, and you do not have life insurance. And furthermore, if you DO die, I’m not hauling your body back to America, which means you’ll get buried right there next to the chinese cabbage and a tin plate will serve as your headstone.” My darling husband took my hand and looked at me with his look which reads, ‘I love you. Despite your melodrama.’ And said, “I promise, I’ve got it under control.” I sniffled, said, “ok” and turned on the camera to video this craziness. For the next five minutes I held my breath and made Ruthy hold Bronwyn so I could focus. They eased the wheel down, bit by bit, with Jeremy calmly giving directions of who needed to hold back and who needed to let go and who needed to get in the river to provide more support. I kept praying that God would honor my desire to be supportive and let it work and not let anyone get hurt. With much yelling back and forth of “hurry up! Slower! Eeeeeasy now!” etc the wheel made its way down into the water, not crushing anyone and not making so much as a splash. The farm worker guys all had a look of relief on their faces and Jeremy moved right on to phase two as if to emphasize to us all, “see, I told you I had it under control.”

With a bit more twinsting and turning, lifting and hoisting, the wheel made its way to its final resting point between two ‘Y’ poles on either side of the river. The guysgave the wheel a spin, price-is-right style, and what do you know, it started pumping water! You would have thought that these farm guys had just landed on the $1.00 mark and were going to the show case show down! They were yelling and cheering and clapping and splashing in the water as it came out of the pipe! “It works! It works! I didn’t think it would, but it works! Bashi Winnie is the man of all men!” I have to say, I was extremely proud. All that time I was sure that this crazy contraption was just a waste of planks, and there I stood, watching this totally huge, totally crazy, monster of a wheel spin in our river pumping life-giving water for us all. I was so thankful. My admiration was genuine and from the heart. Everyone had balked at this venture, and now they were calling my husband the man of all men.
Bronwyn just sort of sat and played with the girls while all of this was going on, and so for her sake, I would like to say this:
Baby girl, you should be so proud that you have such a special daddy. He is steady and firm, constant and consistent in all he does. When people call him crazy, including your mother, he is gracious and understanding, but keeps pressing on. He is crafty and skillful – he can do and make anything he wants. He loves you so much and is also trying to raise you with the confidence to live life fully, using every one of your God given talents to glorify God and bless others. You and I both can be very thankful that God put this man in our lives!

safely sitting with ruthy
no idea whats going on but still perfectly content


  1. Bethany, this brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful testimony! And, Go Jeremy, for such ingenuity and faithfulness! -Nan

  2. I loved this story! Thank you for sharing it. I have walked down the same dusty road (and I'm speaking metaphorically--though it could be read literally as well. LOL) and know just what your heart was feeling! God bless you for your faith!