We've been the target of late night talk shows, and drawn pity from the Today Show crew but we are the ones living through this devastating drought.
Gone are our green gardens. The city that won three Tree City USA awards has lost thousands of trees, along with most of the water in our lakes.
Mother of 4 Michelle Wood is teaching her kids the value of conservation at an early age.
“Water is precious and everyone wants to get a little piece of it,” she says.
She also makes sure they time their showers, and re-use the water for the plants.
Wood says, “I don't see any reason to go back to the way we were. We have 6 people in our family and we use less water than before. It's not a burden. It's a way of life. I hope once we get through the drought that everybody will be as conservative as we possibly can, stay conservative and just make it a way of life.”
Eddie Marinez is also making the best of it. When he lost 2 magnolia trees that were close to a hundred years old, he found a quirky way to add beauty to a sad situation.
Marinez says, “We wanted a memory of them, the best thing to do would be to make something that everyone would enjoy for a long time.”
The carver is staying busy too. Aurelio Castillo says he doesn't want trees to die, but he hopes his creations will make it a little easier for people who must endure the loss and hardships such a drought bring.
At F-5 Concepts owner Brian Havins is staying busy. His tongue in cheek shirts poke fun of the water reuse project, and he says people see the humor in his designs.
“You've got to make fun of the situation,” Havins says. “People are gonna poke fun of us if we're not making fun of ourselves. It's just a way to lighten the mood, smile and have fun with it.”
We've done it before, laughed with each other after the worst natural disaster we endured, and survived: Terrible Tuesday 1979. In the wake, signs of life and signs of a sense of humor sprung up all around.
Now we find ourselves in the middle of another catastrophe brought on by mother nature. City Operations Manager Daniel Nix says it's important for him to keep a sense of humor about everything going on.
Nix says, “I think people seeing the humor in it, especially locally is a good thing. Instead of everyone being mad, smiling and squeezing some lemonade out of this lemon is a good thing.”
The carver, Aurelio Castillo is located at 1308 Central Freeway East in Wichita Falls. You can reach him by calling (940)704-0344.