Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A digging day

3/20/07 Tuesday
Good morning. It looks like I’ll have to do most of my writing in the morning or it might not get done at all. All through the day I formulate things to write, often narrations to go with a picture I took. Then when the sun goes down and I come in for the night I can’t remember what I had come up with. Perhaps I should keep this laptop with me as I work so that when I take one of the many breaks I have during the day I can put down some of these thoughts. We can’t seem to find the digital recorders I had in Toledo. Hopefully we will find it in one of the boxes that have yet to be unpacked.

So what happened yesterday? I’ll go look at the pictures to see. Oh yeah, here it is, the great archeological dig as we learn more of the secrets this place holds. There was a piece of metal roofing that had been exposed during the windstorm that came while we were in Ohio. That’s not good and a trip hazard for any walking by so I decided to dig it up and remove it.

You never know what you will find when you dig out here. What is this? I see a hole and what looks like a big piece of wood. Could this be the septic tank that Charles Lewis said Rudy and his dad had dug by hand? I think it is, so I proceed carefully.

This thing is huge. I think a whole platoon could use this and not cause a problem. However there is an issue. This tank is covered with old steel roofing, which is rusted through in a few spots. I can picture the ground giving way and dumping some poor soul, probably me, into six feet of crap. It is not convenient and is certainly a lot of work but I must think long term here. The septic tank is a vital part of any house so it is wise to insure it’s integrity. So I will dig till it is all exposed, then I’ll have a better idea of what I need to do.

Here is a picture of the buds forming on the mulberry tree. It is aggressively coming to life. Love to watch this.

I wanted to note that oil drilling activity is dramatically apparent. Huge pieces of equipment are regularly moving down the road in front of our house. One of them was an oil derrick. There was a semi in front pulling it and another semi at the rear of the long drilling tower. That’s the one that caught my attention for it was facing the other way, running down the road backwards. The reason for this became apparent when they came to the intersection a quarter mile from the house. The truck in the rear helped swing the derrick around to make the corner. At night you can see the lights of the drilling rigs all over the plain. They will be at one spot for just a few weeks and then disappear. After that you see a gradual development of the site as they prepare to put in an oil pump along with the tanks and stuff that go with it. In addition they often put in a pipeline to one of the several storage tank junctions where tanker trucks steadily come to pick up their precious cargo.

That’s it for this morning. I’m gonna be digging and digging today. I’ll go like gang busters for a few minutes and then rest a short while before going back at it. At least that’s how I start out. It doesn’t take long for me to steady down to a pace I can handle though it doesn’t take much to get me breathing hard. That’s good for these old abused lungs. Haven’t smoked in two going on three years but the thirty five years of smoking before that I am sure did some damage.

Had a great sunset last night so I thought I would share it with you.

I don’t think this is going to work. I brought this laptop out with me with the thought of being able to write when something comes to mind. All during my day I think of ways to write about a particular moments, composing in my mind with the goal of helping y’all see with my eyes. Much of our life happenings will be boring as heck to some and certainly not as exciting as they can be for us. So how to convey this marvel of life Cherie and I enjoy so much? I think of many ways and by the time I get to this journal they are gone.

Maybe this will work. At first it was hard to see the screen in the full daylight but I brightened it up and at least can read this now. Anyway I just took a break. This is as far as I’ve gotten so far. I shovel at a steady (slow) pace and make it about five minutes before I sit down to catch my breath and let the heart rate go down. It’s been down for a while now so I’m gonna get back at it. There are clouds rolling over my head at a steady clip pushed by a fifteen or twenty mile wind. The weatherman said there was a chance of thunderstorms and certainly some rain the rest of the week. I need to bust butt on this septic tank, just have to be careful not to fall in.

This is how much I can get done before I must rest. Not much but little by little amazing things can be done. You know, it would cost good money to get this kind of a workout in a gym. I get to work out for free!!! Actually it pays. Can’t wait to see the corn come up. We have two flats of seeds we are starting. Nothing’s made it up yet but should soon. Gotta get the beds for them ready.

The wind is picking up and I need to get back to work again.

1:45 – I just came in. Had to for a bit. I usually run out of steam and need to lay down or take a nap around two in the afternoon. Sure I’m tired but I also have a headache coming up and laying down will ease the pain in my back. I took another pain pill a few minutes ago. Lately I take one in the morning with my other medicines. That’s pretty much the way the doctor wanted me to take them but I’ve been waiting till I hurt pretty badly before I take one. Now, with all the work I’m doing the pain level is up so I am grateful to have medication that helps me keep moving. Still worry about dependence on them.

4:37 – Finally, I’ve gotten the septic thing uncovered. Don’t know what to think, mostly because my knowledge of septic systems comes from television commercials. Doesn’t quite cover it here. I am half afraid to pull one of these tin roof sections up to see what is hiding underneath. I just came inside to go online and learn more about septic systems so took this moment to update the journal.
Moved allot of dirt on this one.

Learned about septic systems. Don’t like what I learned. Evidently they are only designed to last thirty years. They must be pumped out on a regular basis. I saw how septic systems are laid out. We have a hole in the ground. This may not be fun. There is already the predictable odor wafting from the many holes in the tin roofing so I am not looking forward to opening that monster up. Gotta do what I gotta do.
One of my favorite movies is “Cool Hand Luke”. I suppose that is partly because of the many jails I have had the dubious pleasure of residing in. If I recall right there is a scene where Paul Newman is told to dig a hole. After working on it all day he was told to fill it in. That pretty much sums up my day. I dug a hole and now must fill it up. Actually that is good news. My fear was someone could fall into the septic tank. Once I raised the tin roofing I could see there were railroad ties tightly set over the tank so that is pretty solid.

When I lifted the first piece I got quite a start. There was a four foot long snake that was surprised and slid between two railroad ties into whatever lies beneath. It was a pale yellow, so pale it was almost white. I have to wonder how it got down there, how long it’s been there, and what does it eat? I quickly put the piece of tin back. I went and got Cherie so she could take pictures of it when I pulled the tin roofing off. No snake to be found. Nuts, I was hoping to catch it.

Night all.


Janie said...

Wow! That's lots of work...looks like you're making major progress.

Nate~ said...

be careful that you dont end up in a shitty situation ;-)

Bob said...

There are hopefully many ways to measure progress. I dug a hole and now must fill it. No regrets cause it is better to be safe than sorry.