It was pouring yesterday morning when I went out to move the sheep. I dug out an old raincoat and what I thought were an old pair of children’s rain pants. It turned out that they were wind pants, and moving through tall grass in the rain I was quickly soaked to the skin. Rain dripped off my baseball cap and smeared my glasses.
“Oh, c’mon, God — please!” I said aloud, as I squelched back to the truck and drove home to change into dry pants, socks, and boots.
Because I was ten minutes late, my old friend and Leon had already fired up the machines and were hard at work, digging out the pond.
This photo was taken later in the day, when things had dried out slightly. Yes, the rain relented for eight precious hours.
The ground was so saturated, however, that for most of the day the earth they were moving was glop. It looked as if they were scooping and pushing piles of oozing wet brownie mix. This made the work ten times harder and more time-consuming. (And thus more expensive.) I tried not to dwell on the negatives.
At mid-morning the tandem truck arrived, and promptly got stuck in the greasy mud. Luckily I had my rock chains and the truck could be pulled out by the excavator.
“My husband gave me those chains for Mother’s Day a few years ago,” I said, watching, as the excavator roared and the truck spun its tires.
“And a good thing, too!” Leon exclaimed.
As soon as the truck was free, it departed. We could not risk damaging it. All our plans that involved trucking gravel would have to be abandoned due to the wet conditions. Though I tried to appear impassive, the inside of my nose prickled with unshed tears.
But then Mike arrived to cut the stumps and brush off my cherry logs. “Hey, Sis!” he greeted me cheerfully, grabbing me in a hug. Mike is the happiest and most reliable hugger of my acquaintance. I felt myself clutching him like a teddy bear.
After Mike left, I spent the day fixing fence. The men toiled on and on. At intervals I drove out with snacks, coffee, or their lunch bags. I drove into town and filled cans with diesel and we refueled the excavator.
“Ground’s startin’ to dry out,” said my old friend in the late afternoon. “Maybe it’ll go faster tomorrow.”
Leon nodded. “That would be nice.”
“It’s supposed to rain again tonight,” I observed.
“Don’t say that!” my old friend cried in mock rage.
At 2 AM I woke to hear thunder crashing and rain drumming on the roof.