Today was largely the part of the project where we shatter the eggs in hopes of making an omelette at a later date. Lots of concrete came out. Lots of shrubbery went away. The air conditioner is, somewhat precariously, perched a foot higher waiting on the backfill to arrive tomorrow. The window well is cleaned out and ready to be reset. Basically three guys did in eight hours something that would have taken me three months to plow through a few hours at a time. Is it worth the cost? Probably. But that doesn’t make it any less humbling.
Tomorrow the real digging is going to start. Trenching will crisscross the yard in an effort to redirect every possible drop away from the house. Combined with the improved elevation that should theoretically resolve most of what ails this particular side of the house. For the time being I’ll be satisfied with that – even while knowing there’s at least that much work to do in the front at some point.
Still, I’m willing to call the first day a success… even if the actual heavy lifting is yet to come. All in the name of a dry basement.
1. You drink too much coffee. So you say. That’s purely a matter of opinion, but in a world where I’m not allowed to smoke, where all food should be salt-less, carbs are off limits, red meat is the devil, and cake is a hanging offense, I don’t care what your opinion about my coffee intake is. Too much joy has been sucked out of life for me to willingly give up my all-day infusion of warm, roasted, caffeine-laden goodness. Sure, maybe it would extend my life a few years… but is it a life worth living if you’re stuck drinking nothing but water and eating nothing but sprouts and granola? Feels like a decent trade off to me, so you can go ahead and stow your objections to coffee.
2. Primary Season. Every week we seem to find a few more would-be-candidates wandering onto the field of electoral combat. I know it’s primary season here in America and that’s what happens. That doesn’t mean I have to be the least bit interested in anything they’re saying at this point. I’m an educated voter and so far all I can really tell you is there’s a brain surgeon, a socialist, a guy who wants to make us use the metric system, Hillary Clinton, and a bunch of other people whistle-stopping around the country trying to scrape up enough money to stay on the road for another few weeks. There will be more of them before the field starts to winnow – then maybe I’ll start paying a bit of attention. Until then the whole conversation – the left-on-left, right-on-left, and right-on-right hypocrisy – is just too thick to warrant giving them any serious thought.
3. Rain. I spent a lot of the last three weeks complaining that the yard needed rain and was in danger of turning into my own mini-dustbowl. I was wrong. Now that the rain has come and (mostly) gone I’ve been giving myself a crash course of rainwater diversion and storm water management. Talk about things they don’t teach you in school. Well, they don’t teach them to history majors anyway. So far, my plan of attack seems to require a combination of roofers, heavy equipment operators, landscapers, air conditioning repairmen, and possibly a general contractor, soil specialist, and hydraulic engineer. All of these are skills I could probably learn myself given an unlimited amount of time, but as things stand I’m not willing to wait that long to bring good order and discipline to the free flowing surface water that finds its way into the back yard every time more than a light mist falls.