Ten days ago, Darren came up with a crafty idea for illustrating the challenges of using a typical deep-well hand pump. Because “a picture is worth a thousand words,” he decided we should start a comic strip.
I’ve done my share of doodling on greeting card envelopes through the years, and even published two political cartoons in the local newspaper years ago, but a regular comic strip? Well, now, that is different. I couldn’t wait to start.
I ransacked the house for a mechanical pencil and the best ink pen I could find, a complimentary one from H&R Block, and then sat down to create Grandma on a sheet of plain copy paper. In no time, we had our fictitious scrappy granny.
Dressed in some sort of cotton housedress and clodhopper boots, Grandma is modeled loosely after our 64-year-old friend and neighbor, Leza, who demonstrated on video how easily she can pump a lot of water from a deep well with the WaterBuck Pump. Please see Grandma is breaking records.
Leza is thin and generally wears her hair in a long braid, but the similarity with our penciled granny ends there. Leza would not ever tie an ostrich or a snake to a hand pump handle as our cartoon Grandma did. Or would she?
“Grandma” and her kin live on a small homestead, much like those in our Missouri Ozarks, where she relies on a deep well to water her garden, a few animals and her household.
Grandma hasn’t yet gotten a WaterBuck Pump. She is still busy trying to find ways to get more water quickly from the modern, high-tech hand pump her grandson bought to replace the farm’s old deep well pump. Even though Grandma has electricity, she is getting ready so she will not be greatly affected when the power goes out. Her country lifestyle currently depends on an electric water pump.
Depicting Grandma struggling with a hand pump was easy, after personally hand pumping water during our 2012 drought. I didn’t stand on the pump like Grandma did, but considered it as I toiled to pump a pint or so per stroke with a modern pump. And my task was relatively easy compared to Grandma. I was using a shallow well pump, lifting water only about 7 feet from a cattle pond.
In the past week, Grandma seems to have taken on an actual personality. We envision her traveling to town or wondering how engineers could send astronauts to the moon, but haven’t designed a strong, high-volume, shallow and deep-well hand pump for Earth.
Please share with your friends and check back often as we are uploading the latest antics of Grandma and her clan several times a week in the “WaterBuck” comic strip. We also have created “What in the World,” where we illustrate the benefits of self-reliant living.
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