a/k/a A Day in Rural Heaven
On this day, I saw such a confluence of "life style" elements that I have cultivated over these so many years.
When one has a sign out that says "Wanted: Clean Solid Fill" for fifteen years, word slowly gets around. The masons bring the bricks and mortar of the chimneys they have replaced. People bring the remnants of their dead concrete stairs. The occasional contractor is relieved to unload the excavated excess of a cellar hole, or perhaps, a swimming pool. Sometimes they "pay back" for a large load by stopping by with a bit of heavy equipment to push the piles over into the hole.
But, eventually, an operation is bound to yield "paydirt." For me, this was a company that had brought by truckloads of fill a few times in the past, and now had roughly 3000 cubic yards of subsoil (clay full of rocks) to dispose of. Due to the fact that all my "level land" was covered with the last couple of years of drop-offs, and that this was a huge undertaking, I requested that they leave piece of "heavy equipment" here to first clear some space, and then dispose of the stuff they were bringing. Just after July 4th, a Caterpillar D5 bulldozer appeared in my backyard.
Today, after fits and starts and lots of fun with the bulldozer, their clean up of their site began in earnest. Two 15 yard trucks running continous loads every hour or so, and an additional nine-yarder adding to the flow. I might have to remove that "fill wanted" sign when this is over.
At the same time, I have to get in the hole and cut down some more trees, before they are engulfed by this magnificent mudslide. Now, I do own a nice chainsaw, but I do not have a log splitter, and right now I have no way to burn wood set up. So I stopped by a place, a car repair place, where a few weeks ago I saw a sign saying "trees cut for free." It turns out that it was not theirs, but a sign on a truck... the guy at the grage gave me their number.
Today at about four PM, they stopped by to look at what I wanted removed, to see if it was worth their while to come in and cut it and haul it for pulp, firewood, and lumber.
Then I went to the "dump." Hereabouts, that means "transfer station," and what I call the Lee Mall - the swappe shoppe. There was a kitchen's worth of cabinets there for the taking! I use these things for my workshop, when I can get them. So I stuffed about four or five into my car, as best I could, borrowing a rope from one of the "dump guys" to tie down my trunk lid for a semblance of highway safety.
I went back an hour or two later, but the other smaller cabinets were gone. As I loaded the lone floor cabinet into my car, another visitor asked if I lived nearby, and offered to haul the two corner cabinets over in his truck.
As dusk approached, in order to best allow for filling and grooming of my field, my friend Marc dropped by to help me move some vehicles.
The old F250 that was actually now in a small hole surrounded by fill I bulldozed, went well. We hooked up the plow Blazer yard varmint thing to it, and pulled it backwards, then pushed it forward to within sight of the highway, where I will mark it and the random parts I have to fix it, "for sale, bro"
Then there were my parts cars. The engine and rear axle donor came out pretty well, after we killed the yellowjackets nesting in the door jamb. It couldn't steer well due to the right front tire loose on its rim from a previous move, so I had to get redneck on it and push its rear end sideways with the plow to line it up and park it.
The body donor we pulled just barely onto the parking lot, and later in the evening I straightened it out so it wouldn't look so "informal" with a floor jack under the subframe (easy when there's no engine).
© Huw Powell