Friday, December 20, 2013

Life Can Be a Ditch

After the neighbor filled in a ditch that ran across a corner of the property, my back yard became more and more bog-like. It became increasingly difficult to mow because it was turning into a water-filled swamp. With all of the rain this summer, I was unable to mow it. I couldn’t get into my garden to weed. The mud in it was up to my ankles even between rains.

I asked my brother Ken, to come out and help me decide what we needed to do to help alleviate the problem without trespassing onto the neighbor’s land and reopening the filled in ditch. He had been busy and was unable to bring the excavation equipment out to carve some new channels for the water to exit my land and to flow away like it did before.

Today was the day. He brought a machine with a bucket on a long arm. The one ditch that had partially filled in with grass and silt needed opened first. The treads of the machine had to rest in an incline and a he was digging the debris from the channel, the one tread came off the cogs of the track, not good. That’s one thing that you don’t want to happen in the field especially.

Now starts the fun. He couldn’t drive it away, with only one tread. There was only one other option and that was to get the tread back on track. Oh boy, it was a chore. With two pry bars, strength, and a lot of determination, we got it back into place. Those treads are heavy, about five hundred pounds or more. After about half an hour, damp feet for me, and a wet butt, it went back into place. We were both relieved and dirty, but he was able to finish that section and then dig a new ditch to open a low area in my back yard and allow the water to flow and not accumulate behind the high hump dam.

It was amazing to see the amount of water that began to pour through the shallow trench. The water rolled downhill to disperse over a wider area of low ground. It should be absorbed more readily in that extended surface area.

I was glad that it was done. After we loaded, chained down the back hoe, and Ken drove off, I went upstairs, pulled off my soaked socks, and removed my saturated underwear and jeans, I took a hot shower. I was happy to have washed off the mud and dirt and to have warmed my feet and fanny.

My yard is torn up from the treads, but that can be handled in the spring when the sap is in the trees and a man feels young again.


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