I’m taking a break from the worst of the heat, eating a bite of lunch and cooling off by my fan. I’m nearly done with the hardest part of the job, which is clearing a pile of rubble near the old springhouse. About thirty years ago, my great, great uncle died in a house fire on that spot. Firefighters extracted his body, and pretty much all that was left of the home were the bricks and stones. For some reason, my grandfather decided to have all of it pushed into a big pile and then left it there. I was a kid at the time, so I don’t remember why he did that, but for all these years, that pile has sat there, becoming a mound for sumac and honeysuckle to thrive on.
When I first made the decision to clear the land, one of my first objectives was to clean up around the springhouse. It’s some of the best land on all of the property and, other than the pile of rubble, was always well-kept and beautiful when I was a kid. As I cleared away the honeysuckle and sumacs, I decided that the pile needed to go, too, so for the last week or so, I have worked steadily to remove it. The job has been much more than I ever expected it to be. Over the years, a lot of thick, fertile soil has built up in the pile, making it difficult to get out the chunks of brick and stone. Because of all the large chunks of those, it’s hard to dig in it with a shovel. Also, I’ve been trying to recover some of the bricks that are still in pretty good shape, so I’m being fairly careful as I go through it.
Yes, it would’ve been much simpler to get a Bobcat and just level it, but a big part of why I’m doing this is to lose weight and get healthier, so the exercise has been fantastic. Also, and this is hard to explain, but there is something about doing it by hand that feels more respectful and dignified for the property. Preston and Rico may be the only two who get that. It’s not about speed and efficiency. It’s about connecting with a place that my great, great grandfather worked by hand. I may be romanticizing it too much, but that’s how I feel.
Once last thing. I meant to announce this the other day and got too busy with school. The Ramblings of D. A. Adams is now over one year old. Thank you to all of you who read this blog regularly. It means more to me than you can know.
That’s all for now.