Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Building a Wall

K and I are building a wall. Well, really you can hardly call it a wall—it's just two courses of  stone. Call it a border for the garden, then.
          Time was when we would have knocked a project like this out in one morning and then planted fifty trees after lunch. Today, as you can see, we almost got the trenching done and the first course laid. And then we had to take the rest of the day off.

Little tiny wall—easy schmeasy.
©Nancy E. Banks

          This is not our first stone wall. When we lived in Wisconsin, we decided we didn't like the fact that there wasn't a flat spot on our lot, so we dug out our front yard until it was level and built stone retaining walls and planters. We did this with minimal tools and little money. Because that's exactly what we had. Oh, and the fearlessness that comes with lack of good sense.

A Bobcat would have been SO much easier. But not in the budget.
©Nancy E. Banks

          We got the stone at a local quarry, which charged $10 per ton, u-pick, u-load. I remember hauling at least 10 tons, although it was probably more. By the time we'd loaded the stone at the quarry, unloaded it at home, and hand-fit each rock course, I calculate that we had each moved each and every rock at least four times. That's forty tons of rock that we moved, one rock at a time.*
          For our little garden border project today, we went to the stone yard, picked out a pallet of cut stone (all the same size! What luxury, not having to puzzle odd-shaped stones together into a level course!), and had it delivered.  K moved each stone exactly once. I helped him lift if they were really big and heavy, but I find I have lost my taste for Picking Up Really Big Rocks and Carrying Them Around. I suspect it has something to do with the approach of my 50th birthday.** And when it got hot—we stopped. Even though I hadn't finished trenching and K could have definitely moved more rocks.
          We'll finish it tomorrow.
          Or next week. At the latest.

I can personally attest that each and every one of these stones is heavy.
©Nancy E. Banks

*No wonder I'm still tired.
**Although it's always possible that it has something to do with the long-overdue approach of good sense.

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