Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sure Am Sore

     When I woke this morning I was sore across my shoulders and back. Even the muscles between my ribs were painful, as though they wanted to go into a spasm. What happened to those days when I awoke and felt rested and relaxed, old age? I can remember when I actually had to dig ditch. The task was for my dad. The old galvanized pipe that ran from the springhouse on the hillside ,about one hundred and twenty yards above our home, became corroded until barely a trickle of water came out of the tap.

It was time to reopen the ditch and replace the old corroded pipe with new plastic lines. Dad gave my brother Ken and I orders as to how much of the ditch he wanted us to dig before he came home from work. I believe it was about ten feet per day. Not too much, but my brother, Ken would torture me as I wielded the mattock until I chased him. He would run back to the house and hide behind Mom’s skirts. I would have to trudge back to the chore of digging ditch, solo. You would think that I would have learned to ignore him and have him stay there to help, but no. It must have been the lead from those pipes that “dumbed” me down.

The biggest thing that I remember was a huge rock that I encountered. It was fully as wide and long as a dining room table with one extension leaf inserted. It spanned the path of the ditch. I scraped the soil from the top of it and even went to the basement for a sledge hammer to try and break it up so I could finish my assignment. It wouldn’t budge, so I continued digging on its far side. Dad was a little upset when he came home and “we” hadn’t finished the length of ditch. When he tried to shatter the boulder, he found that he couldn’t do it either. The slab of stone was about twenty -eight inches thick. Dad finally decided to make a passage to slide the new piping beneath the behemoth instead of going around or continuing to try and remove it. I continued to dig ror the next few days “with” my brother until the pipe extended from the springhouse in the woods to our house.

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