Yesterday was a day with not freezing temperatures and no rain. Our new concrete parking pad is coming up soon. Because they will excavate an area from the driveway in the front yard, they will haul the dirt. The front yard is a hill, and it is moving a lot of dirt. Now one might wonder why anyone would work so hard to dig out rocks from the edge of that driveway, but these are not just any old rocks, even if they look like any old rocks.
Readers who have been around a couple of years may recall my proposed “fountain” for helping to channel the run-off in my front yard. I bought Mexican beach rocks…several bags of them at $10+ a pop. As I often do, I changed my mind before I finished, and for good reason. The water run-off was worse after the removal of the dead tree in this space. Once we decided to build the studio in the place where we have parked, plans had to be made for another location. Frankly, it just was not feasible to keep parking in the front yard, right? That meant this little corner was the most logical space.
So yes, once again, I picked up all those beach rocks and moved them by the bucketsful. There they stayed until we began the construction of the studio. It did not take long of parking our vehicles in the front yard, and the construction traffic turning around in the yard next to the driveway before it was a river swamp with deep ruts along the edge of the driveway. Mexican beach rocks to the rescue, along with left over concrete blocks and blobs of concrete and any other spare rock I could find trying to staunch the river downhill and enable us to continue getting into and out of the front yard. However, now is the time for digging up this corner, building a retaining wall, and pouring a concrete parking pad. Now, granted, it would have been easier to leave those rocks where they were (which by the way, due to all the construction traffic and us driving over them, were now embedded about 4-6 inches in the clay that makes up the topsoil on this hillside). But that just did not sit well–not just because I had already invested significant physical labor in these rocks, but because it was just wasteful. Standard rocks that are part of the hillside, not so much, but besides amounting to throwing away money in a landfill somewhere, they would have served no purpose in so doing other than to save me some physical effort.
So up they came, after about 1 1/2 hours of work with rake, hoe, shovel, and pitchfork. I opted for the Gorilla cart as it has wheels and rolls and I could hose off the rocks and the mud would fall to the ground. That might not look like a big hole in the driveway, but given how much I had to dig out to get to the rocks (after raking all those leaves off, was a considerable amount of effort for a woman of a certain age. I took it slow and changed up the tools and parts of the body required as needed so as not to over-exert myself. Fortunately, sawing wood, picking up limbs and rocks, sweeping the driveway, and all the general toting I do around here keeps me in somewhat better shape than sitting at the computer.
Pulling the cart up the driveway, and then up the steeper incline to the sidewalk was the hardest part, and I had begun to question if it was really worth it to have gone to this much effort. As always, the satisfaction of accomplishment said “Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music!”
When I finished, I celebrated with a late evening fire, Beyance in my lap, and watched the dark come down on the hillside. Inside, Randy asked if I had gotten all my rocks and I said yes, and mentioned I did not know what I would do with them, but I had no intention of letting them be hauled to a landfill, even if I could buy more. He looked at me in surprise and said, “I thought you were digging up your Grandma’s rocks?” Heck no; those are in the pathway border by the sidewalk! I was digging up my Mexican beach rocks!