The Washington Times-Herald


January 13, 2012

Rusty water needs help

WASHINGTON — I was reading about a young girl this week whose grandparents and parents had built a rustic cabin in a wooded area. They spent weekends and vacations there. No electricity, no gas; they used a kerosene stove for cooking, buried their garbage across the road and got their water from a pump just outside the back door. It was the girl’s daily chore to get water and bring it in the house. Her brother’s task was to take care of the garbage.

The first time the girl pumped water into a bucket, she had to pump and pump and pump before she finally got any water. But, when it gushed from the pump into the bucket it was the color of mud. She was dismayed but took the bucket into the kitchen. Her mother told her to keep pumping, the water would eventually become clear.

So she went back outside to the pump and worked for awhile longer. Sure enough, soon the water started to clear up and before long, the water was completely clear, cool and refreshing.

This story about rusty water is applicable to many efforts and trials in our lives. Anything that takes effort may start out a little rusty.

Learning to dance produces awkward steps and stumbles at the beginning. Learning to play a musical instrument creates squawks, growls and off key melodies when a person first tries. Beginning an exercise program will give us aches, breathlessness and fatigue.

If we “keep pumping,” our efforts will eventually give us graceful dance steps, beautiful music and a slimmer, stronger body. Anything worth doing is worth working and waiting for. Even though our early efforts may only give us rusty water, persistence will help us reach our goals whether it’s clear water, becoming a ballerina, a rock star, a star athlete or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

So, don’t give up when it seems like all your efforts are producing only rusty water. Keep practicing, keep learning, and keep trying. A clear bucket of water is only a few more pumps of the handle away.


Cyndi Pratt remembers pumping water on her uncle’s farm. That well always produced clear water with just a little effort — maybe because the pump was used so often it never had a chance to get rusty. Another reason to keep on keeping on, never letting your skills become stale.

Text Only
  • Moving towards a better tomorrow This past week a federal judge ruled Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but in Daviess County there were no wedding bells ringing for same-sex couples. Despite receiving an email from the Indiana Attorney General’s office advising coun

    July 5, 2014

  • Clerk owes public an apology Clerk owes public an apologyEditor:I read the account from Daviess County, stating that the county clerk had refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her biblical beliefs and unclear direction from the state government. Regardl

    July 3, 2014

  • Healy was right in denying licenses I believe the citizens of Daviess County owe a debt of gratitude to Clerk Sherri Healy for her courageous and legally correct action in refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. The marriage law in Indiana states the following, “The Cl

    July 2, 2014

  • Learning to drive with new buggy paths Like most adults my age I have been driving since the age of 15. Over the years I’ve been behind the wheel in empty parking lots, dirt paths to nowhere, gravel roads, paved roads and streets, rural interstates with little traffic and urban ones that

    June 28, 2014

  • An arrogant and lawless IRS

    WASHINGTON -- Noted management expert and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was apparently called out of retirement - like the Ted Williams of evasive, unapologetic bureaucrats - to destroy what is left of his agency's credibility. At immediate issue is

    June 23, 2014

  • Doing the no pants dance There comes a time in a young man's life when he must throw off his child-like ways and face the cold hard realities of life - one of which is that your father is not always perfect. Now that my oldest son has graduated, it is time for him to fully u

    June 7, 2014

  • Ultimate sacrifice for the Greatest Generation Friday was the 70th anniversary of D-Day. For many of the "Greatest Generation" it will be the final significant anniversary of the landing at Normandy in which they participated. For 9,000 other Americans, June 6, 1944, was the final day of their y

    June 7, 2014

  • Gator hunting in the sewer Not all tales of strange or out of place animals occur in wild sites in some exotic location. Some of these stories are from urban locations in the United States. A classic example is the legendary "alligators in the sewers" in New York City. This ur

    June 3, 2014

  • Back in love with the 'selfie' I used to hate the "selfie." A selfie, for those not aware with the term, is a shortened form for a self-portrait. Although the style has been around for centuries, the phenomenon has really taken off in the past few years in the United States. I saw

    May 31, 2014

  • Adjusting to Obamacare Living here in the belly of conservative America I can't tell you how many times I have heard people speak out about the Affordable Healthcare Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, with both dislike and derision. Sometimes when they mention it I half ex

    May 24, 2014