Since my parents had little money, we kids spent an inordinate amount of time hatching up grand money-making schemes. Maybe that’s why, as an adult, I keep expecting that ship to sail in – even right into my landlocked front yard (I’ve saved it a berth in the left lower field…)

But back in 1990 I REALLY thought we had struck gold – right here in Bloomfield….

About 2 years after we bought ourBloomfieldpalatial estate, there was a big freeze. (For you Easteners: being Californians, we’re talking TEENS.)

Now keep in mind – we San Francisco natives rarely see temps below the 40s. To us a ‘big freeze’ is say 39 degrees. (But then – to us San Franciscans, a ‘big power outage’ is one lasting over TWO WHOLE hours….)

So of course we knew nada about leaving water to trickle, covering pipes, etc. Indeed we still were ‘discovering’ facts about our new home – such as where the pipe-happy prior owners had decided to ‘just run an extension’ off a line, conveniently burying it and letting weeds grow up around the bib.

So we woke the next morning to a frosty wonderland, oblivious as to how this would change our world.

Dragging poor Mr. Bill out the door (he’s from the East Coast and ‘Winter Wonderland’ to him translates into less desirable pastimes like shoveling snow and fielding Black Ice), I commenced to practice my Ice Skating talents on the driveway (sans skates) which rapidly led to Butt Tobogganing – a MUCH more successful venture.

Freezing (he said), breakfast ‘out’ was suggested (which led neatly into his Personal Demonstration of Black Ice Driving – am I LUCKY!). Satiated, entertained (me) and happy we returned hours later to view an awesome spectacle: a GEYSER of water shooting out from our front field some 10+ feet into the air in the crystal-clear morning.

Now here’s where the difference between Lemons and Lemonade Thinking quickly emerges:

Bill (big groan, stops on the bottom of our driveway): OMG – it’s a NATURAL DISASTER!

Me: (excited, bouncing up and down in car seat like a 2-year old): YIPPEEEEE – WE ARE RICH!

(Two instantaneous thoughts – but oh, so very different!)

Bill (glaring): … and HOW do you figger that??

Me (always irrefutably logical): OBVIOUSLY you don’t see what this means!!

Bill is puzzled. He sees a crisis. What ELSE could it possibly be??

I continue to bounce and expand upon the idea: now I am on a TEAR:


(…excited plans evolve in staccato as quickly as the sedative my hubby more likely mused upon to put me out of my misery):

Me: LOOK at how high it’s shooting! Do you REALIZE how much money Yellowstone makes from THEIR version – and it isn’t even CONSTANT. It just goes off like every twelve minutes – we’ve been watching this eruption for like 5 minutes and there’s NO END IN SIGHT!

Bill looks not only befuddled, but stricken (Here is his wife tottering on the very brink of madness – again.) Obviously he hasn’t Seen the Light. It’s up to me to help him out (again….the man has No Imagination!)

Me: We’ll CHARGE ADMISSION right down here at the gate. We’ll have Rustic Parking over here on the right. (With Country Parking, you don’t even need to PAVE anything!)

Bill (practical as always): What about the leech field?

Me: (also practical as always): NO WORRIES – if it can handle the annual tractor mow, it can stand just a few hundred parked cars.

(continuing the theme):

Me: We can have a Cotton Candy Machine up top in the garage – I’ve ALWAYS wanted one, YUM! I can take pictures of tourists with Old Bloomfield. We’ll be RICH!

Meanwhile Bill is sighing. Deeply. (The man simply has NO imagination….ya gots to spell EVERYTHING out….)

Bill: You remember that schematic the prior owners showed us of the fields?

Me: Yeah – and it OBVIOUSLY MISSED the HUGE aquifer under this one! (They shoulda had a proper Dowser come over…)

Bill: You remember the layout of the pipes?

Me (blankly): Pipes?

Bill: Yeah – the one they ran from the main well holding tank down to this field so they could have a garden?

At this point, a dim bulb is lighting. Yeah, I kinda/sorta recall something to this effect. I think it went along with the ‘blahblahblah’ portion of the diatribe before we signed like 80 pages that represent the ‘I Do’ of the homebuying world.

Bill: well, the pipe obviously blew in the freeze. The half-buried one we forgot about protecting. That’s our WELL WATER going up in smoke!

But being a Positive Person, I can’t let a little issue like Place of Origin thwart what is otherwise the BEST ‘get rich quick’ scheme EVER to drop into my lap….

Me (with less bounce and only slightly diminished enthusiasm): WELL. Whoever said anything about ORIGIN issues? Does anyone ASK where Old Faithful’s water comes from??? NO!

(I ALWAYS have a Plan B….):

Me: We’ll just get on the computer and tell people we’re having a LIMITED EDITION GEYSER SALE! They’ll have to come before TOMORROW AFTERNOON to see one of the Wonders of the World!

Bill (sighing even more deeply): You want to EMPTY OUR WELL in 24 hours?

Me (warming to my revised idea): NAH. Let’s just install a spigot! That way we can TURN THE WONDER ON AND OFF! Why limit things? ‘BloomfieldFaithful: The ONLY On-Demand Geyser in the WORLD!’ We’ll be RICH!

Unfortunately Some Other People didn’t see my money-making plan for the obvious genius it held. A plumber was called. I gots No Spigot.

Later, the plumber told Bill I was the ONLY customer he’d seen in all his years who WEPT AS THE REPAIR WAS BEING CONDUCTED.

Ah well. That ship WILL sail in (or away) someday.

Until then, I have a berth for her. Right down in the Lower Field. Stage Left.

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