Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A real man would move a dumptruck load.

"Where do you want it?" the dumptruck driver asked.

I'd just bought four cubic yards of dirt/compost. Ideally, I would have loved to have it inside the back fence, but we couldn't reach it. So the only real option was the gravel in front and to the left of the gate, or on the driveway itself.

"It would be easier to clean up on the driveway," the guy said.

"O.K. Let's do that." My car was in the garage, and I wasn't going to get it out unless I cleared away the dirt.

He backed up and started to pour the dirt, but I got one look at the size of the load and said -- "Whow. Hang on. I've changed my mind -- let's put it on the gravel."

"Are you sure? If you get it all done today, it won't be a problem...."

See -- I'm still not sure if he as kidding me. Calling out my manhood. But I started visualize how much dirt I was dealing with. (Later in the afternoon, after I did about 20 wheelbarrow loads full, I figured out that I was looking at about 20 shovel fulls of dirt per load, and about 75 loads altogether. Or 1500 shovel fulls.)

"Uh. I want to be able to, like you know, MOVE my body, tomorrow...."

Now that I'd seen what a cubic yard looked like, I thought to myself that I'd just buy a couple of cubic yards of gravel when I'm done, since the gravel has gotten pretty thin over the years. (By the way, I hate gravel as a solution, but I hate having to dig it all up even more...)

In the end, I managed to do move about a third of the dumpload, yesterday. I needed to not only move the soil, but also work it into the ground -- another bunch of shovel fulls -- and then put in the plants.

(I'm a great believer that you do one task at a time, and finish it....so you don't have a bunch of leftover refuse to deal with later. It's always more difficult to deal with later...)

Took me several hours -- but I covered the front garden beds with the new soil. I didn't work it into the soil as much as I probably should have, but I did dig it into the soil where I planted the flowers.

Sure enough, I could barely move last night. I'd get up from the couch -- or start to get up from the couch -- and groan and fall back. Then gather myself under myself and stand up.

I decided this year that I'd do no more than 3 or 4 hours of heavy lifting in any one day -- instead of burning myself out for weeks at a time. So that has worked really well -- it's enough time to get things accomplished and still be ready to do it again the next day.

I don't care if the guy thought I was a wimp. I woke up this morning just a little sore but also willing to tackle the rest of the dumpload.

(By the way, I realized this morning that the ideal solution would've been to move my car outside the load of dirt....duh. Damn.)

1 comment:

Carl said...

5 yards doesn't sound like a lot, but we had that much mulch, not dirt, and it seemed like it took forever to move from front to backyard. And as we went, it the pile seemed to grow as it decompacted with the removal of the top stuff. If there is a next time, Landsystems gets to blow it into the beds.