Hooray! The sun broke through the clouds and burned them away by mid-morning. All of our spirits lifted. Though the ground is still saturated and oozy, the mud quickly began to dry out.
On Sunday my old friend in the excavator had had to move earth three or four times with the bucket in order for the bulldozer to be able to push it. Leon on the bulldozer had sunk so deep into the mud it had looked as if his tracks were churning under brown soup. Now everything was more manageable and the work went faster. I drove into town three times to fill cans with fuel.
As you can see in the photo, the old gravel pit is almost buried. Over the years, the pit, dug in 2005, saved me thousands of dollars in gravel expenses — its gravel built my road, floored my barn, underlay my garage, and reshaped the landscape everywhere — but the vein of gravel is mostly gone and the pit had become an eyesore. In 2009 my old friend began tipping tons of boulders into it to get them out of the way. In 2010 we dumped stumps in it.
Now all the mess is disappearing, smoothed over with earth as the pond is dug. It is very satisfying. Of course I am spending the same dollars I would once have spent on gravel, but I should have a pretty little pond as a bonus.
D came for an hour with his small dump truck and hauled several loads of gravel up to the barn to use later in adjusting the grade. In the late afternoon my old friend and I dug out the barn pier Sonotubes that had dissolved in the rain and replaced them. We were able to fix my math mistake at the same time. It all seemed so simple in dry weather.
While the men are finishing the pond today I will use the laser level to mark the Sonotubes to the correct height and saw them off. I am calling to order the concrete truck.
The awful weather combined with bad luck (sickness) and error (my math oversight) cost me two days with men and machines. By being willing to come in at odd hours to work around the rain my old friend made up one of them for me. Meanwhile Leon came to my rescue to run the bulldozer. They are both very dear. I’m very lucky.
I made the decision to keep the machines an extra day, to make up for the one lost. Today is that last day. I have deeply enjoyed having the men on the property but I am worn out and will be glad to have the project finished and the stress over.
It is supposed to rain again tomorrow.