Saturday, March 19, 2011

The First Blisters of Spring

I was busy today.  I spent about five hours repairing tile at the end of our driveway.  And it was lovely.  : )

There is an old clay tile that passes under the end of our driveway along the ditch.  Originally, each end of this tile was secured by a small stone wall (what else would you expect at the Einsel House?).  However, the stone wall on the south side of the driveway had collapsed sometime before we bought the property.  Fixing it was on the to-do list, but it didn't make it to the top of that list until after the flooding we had a few weeks ago.  Here's what the south side of the driveway looked like after the deluge:

The rains had collapsed a portion of the tile and deposited a large portion of our driveway thirty or so yards down the ditch:

Charles and I scooped up some of the escaped driveway stone last week and used it to fill potholes in the driveway.  And I went to work on the collapsed tile today.

The old tile was very nearly plugged by washed out stone and debris:

Tile extended by just over four feet, with a new wall started:


If you insist on zooming in on this (and Blogger lets you) please ignore the fact that I'm squinting against the sun:

The green box marks buried telephone lines.  It did made me a bit nervous, but I was careful not to dig out anything other than the ditch that had been there previously.  And just down the road there is an above ground pole on the same side of the ditch as the green box, leading me to believe that the phone lines run parallel to the ditch and not underneath it.

This job was hard work; the new clay tile, the stones and the buckets of dirt and escaped driveway stone were all heavy.  And digging out the clogged ditch was made difficult because the washed out dirt and driveway stone was littered with broken pieces of the old tile and stones from the original retaining wall.  Still, this was a job that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Mother Nature provided a lovely day, and it was great to be out in it.  The work was physically hard, but it was straightforward and there were no unexpected surprises.  And it helps that all the supplies were free - the clay tile I added spent the last 30-some years sitting in a back corner of my parents' barn, the stones for the retaining wall all came from our property, the fill dirt came from the pile left over from putting in the springhouse steps last fall, and the stone on top was scooped up from the pile the flood had washed downditch. 

The ditch could use a bit more cleaning out, and there are a few potholes still to be filled in the drive, but if the weather holds we should be able to finish those bits up tomorrow and then we can make the call to have the drive topped with a fresh coat of gravel.

And tomorrow is the first day of Spring!

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