It's the water table that did me in. You see, there is a very high water table in the area my little farmlet is located in. So high in fact, that my well is only 16 feet deep (so I'm told....I haven't actually measured it). This is great when it comes to drilling wells, but not so great in the spring time. As soon as the snow melts, it raises the water table so high that under my house floods. This happens every year, and my house is 50+ years old.
Over time all this flooding has gradually filled in the space under my house with dirt. Utilities that were accessible when installed are no longer reachable by anyone larger than a spaghetti strand. And Devon won't help me. That leaves me with one happy alternative. It has to be dug out.
Sunday, Laura and I whiled away our happy afternoon hours by hauling enough dirt out to allow my dad (who is NOT a spaghetti strand) to reach certain areas under the house that needed fixing. I personally hauled 60+ gallons of dirt out in 5 gallon buckets and 8 garbage bags of canning jars. By the end of the day I was pretty doggone sore, let me tell you. It's one thing to haul heavy buckets while standing upright. It's another thing entirely to do it bent in half!
To properly empathize with the experience, you must visualize yourself bent over in the position of someone in the middle of a gorilla impression. Knees slightly bent, arms dangling by ankles, that sort of thing. Now attach a five gallon bucket full of rocky dirt to the dangling arms. Grunting is optional, but not required.
We both worked hard and were very proud of how much progress we made. It allowed my dad to do the repairs he needed to do for that day. However, after some complicated analysis on things like back damage-to-dirt ratios I came to the conclusion that more---and younger---laborers are needed.
Thankfully (and providentially, in my opinion) next week is the spring break of my dear niece and nephews. And it's supposed to be a warm week according to the 10 day forecast which I check with more dedication and fervor than my stock indexes (maybe because I have no stock indexes). What a nice juxtaposition of availability and opportunity!