Saturday, January 15, 2011
Today was a maintenance day. I have a lovely four day weekend due to Lee/Jackson Day on Friday and Martin Luther King Day on Monday. An interesting mix of Civil War and Civil Rights that you get in the South! So I can do household errands and cleaning and still get to the maintenance issues that have been on my list for so long. And hopefully some lazy, slug time.
We have a very large concrete bridge with large culverts that form the entrance to our driveway. Various storms before Christmas brought quite a bit of debris down the stream that goes under the bridge. (I have heard it called Looney's Creek, which fits in nicely with our place which is frequently a Looney Bin, to quote our New Zealand/Irish friend Lynette.) We have been wanting to clear the debris so that we don't have any bridge wash over issues when the spring rains come, but it has just been too darn cold!
RJ always wants to come on any expedition around the yard. We almost always take him. However he can't be trusted near the road so he was relegated to guarding the truck!
The weather report called for temperatures in the 40s this morning. A lovely warm day. Lee and I went down to the bridge with the Mule, the truck and a rake. We soon discovered we had a way more tangled mess than we could handle alone. The large branches,smaller branches, leaves and trash had formed a amazing macrame that became like the game of Pick-Up Sticks. Everything you grabbed was woven in among other things and glued together with composting leaves that had dried to some kind of plaster. You either had a grip on something so heavy and convoluted that you couldn't move it, or one small stick came out. Very discouraging.
We kept at it until we had a large pile and then filled the truck. Lee thought we could go faster if he got the tractor and used the front loader to hang over the bridge. Then we could load the bucket and dump it directly into the truck for the second load. So that's what we did. When it dries out we will burn it.
A lot of rocks had been pushed into a pile in front of the culverts so we moved some of those to the side. This freed up the flow under the bridge. When I bent over and peered into the culverts I could see that rocks had been rolled into them by the force of the water. We left them there in the hope that the next big storm will wash them on through to the other side.
My father had a fascination with rocks. Whenever we were in the car on some trip or other, my dad would spy a particularly wonderful specimen at the side of the road. He would stop the car and make some of us kids get out and put the rock in the trunk. These rocks ended up lining our driveway and every path in our very large yard. Many, many rocks. I believe there was and is a law about taking rocks from public land. I assume there is a statute of limitations. I hope so at any rate.
So, while Lee and I were moving these rocks you will understand that I examined them and noticed the particularly interesting ones. Ones I thought Dad would have liked and thought about what he would have done with them. We have a driveway that is 1/3 of a mile long. I am glad Lee doesn't have Dad's penchant for lining walks and driveways. We have a lot of rocks, but that is a very long driveway.