Or perhaps I should say "Slooooooooowwwwww."
I'm starting my day very slowly. It seems yesterday's tasks have caught up with my body!
I was out on the deck fairly early, attaching the final section of rabbit wire to the upright railings in attempt to confine Miss Jazi to the interior of the deck. As I was doing so, I watched my neighbor with his bobcat thingy (it has a different brand name that I don't remember) cleaning and repairing the drainage ditch that runs beside the road. I was glad to see it. They are new neighbors, moved in just last month, and over that last year a contractor has been out preparing the property for them, drilling a well, leveling the ground and pouring a pad, putting in a driveway, etc. When he did the driveway, I was not happy because the way he put it technically nicks into my part of the easement. Yes, I understand easement, but what it does is nips off a bit that is "mine." Although I paid for it, the county actually still owns it; doesn't that stink?. I don't know if you remember my angst over losing a pie wedge slice of my property because of a sloppy surveyor. If you're interested, you can read the story here and here and here. Anyway, I guess it has become the principle of it all. But that's not the issue here.
The contractor obliterated the drainage ditch when he put in the driveway. The ditch became filled with dirt and rock, so although he put a culvert under the new driveway so the rainwater from up the hill wouldn't wipe out the driveway, the part downhill from the culvert was filled and would allow the water to run over the road, causing furrows and terrible driving conditions and possibly take out my driveway at the road, too. BTW, both driveways are dirt and gravel. I talked to the contractor, and he said he would fix it before he was done. When he finished, you guessed it, he was gone, and I never saw him afterward. Thank goodness, my new neighbor has more ethics than the contractor and was repairing the damage.
At one point he walked up my drive and said I needed to come look at what he found. I was hoping for a treasure chest of gold so we could split it and both be out of debt, but no. What he found was buried under about three feet of dirt, and it had been buried for longer than I've lived here. A road grader at some time caught the edge of the culvert and tore it. If you don't know, those big culverts are made in spirals, so when the blade of the grader caught it, the spiral was undone. It was still spiraled, but with a smaller diameter and coiled out a distance of 4-5 feet. It was then a trap for silt and rocks washing down the hill for whatever length of time. So, although I checked it during or after rains, and my culvert had been carrying the water through, it was only about 1/2 or 1/3 open at the up-end.
Neighbor Jim and I discussed what to do. I won't bore you with the whole process, but suffice it to say that he had already re-laid the culvert at his own driveway as it was not done right (go figure), and he was willing to help me fix mine so we would have a good, safe drainage. We began working with his bobcat, shovels and hands to dig it all out. He then used a powerful little electric saw to cut through the twisted metal of the culvert so it would no longer be a debris catcher and removed the twisted metal.
At this point, I think he was getting a little worried about me. My face goes very red with any heat or exertion, and I'm sure I was "blushing." He had apparently told his boys, 18 and almost 21, to come help, because down his drive came the guys with more shovels, etc. Over the next couple hours, we built a rock retainer to keep the water flow from eating out the sides of the ditch as it enters the culvert.
In this process, I lost probably 2.5-3 feet of the intact culvert, so Jim picked up several good sized boulders and placed them alongside the newly designed culvert to keep people from driving too near the area and crushing it. It actually looks really nice now!
This all took about four hours, and just as we finished, the sprinkles began. Perfect timing! And it is good we got it done, because over the next couple hours, we got over an inch of rain!! I tossed on a poncho and walked down the hill during the onslaught, and it was nice to see the water flowing freely through Jim's culvert, down the ditch and through mine without any pooling. Whew!
This morning, however, that physical toil has come home. My muscles are a bit "screechy." You know, when I move, it feels like a screechy door hinge sounds! I'm not bad, and I will get up and get busy to work out the stiffness and achey-ness soon. I'm not doing anything heavy today, but the inside of the house needs my attention.
Aren't good neighbors the best??