Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for October 16th, 2022

Helping Ourselves

with 2 comments

We asked for help in finishing the landscaping along the steep edges of our new driveway. I’m taking the lack of response from our excavator to indicate they are either too busy or simply not interested. They must not need our money.

It is a peeve of mine when contractors choose to “ghost” potential customers after initial contact. I generally follow the idiom of squeaky wheels getting the grease but after multiple unsuccessful attempts to communicate our genuine interest in paying for help with our landscaping, we have fallen back on doing what we can with our limited resources.

Up by the shop/garage, I have been feathering the edge with composted manure. Yesterday, we mined a ten-year-old pile of dirt down by our southern border drainage ditch to use at the bottom of the driveway by the road, filling the trailer behind the ATV with hand shovels. We made six trips back and forth and covered a humblingly short length of both sides.

Cyndie suggested we rent a skid steer tractor. She’s not wrong that it would be a more impressive machine for addressing this size of a job. My first hesitation with that plan is that I would be the person to operate it and I’ve never driven one before. The subsequent issues include our lack of truck or trailer to transport the machine, the small amount of available dirt a machine like that could move, and the abuse my novice use would do to the surrounding terrain.

We don’t make a lot of efficient progress with our shovel-fulls at a time, but I have the skills to operate a shovel and can do the work with minimal collateral damage.

The only real challenge beyond not being able to finish the job quickly is coping with my self-conscious embarrassment about the neighbors’ opinions over our using hand tools to tackle work that deserves machines. Working down at the road leaves our methods glaringly obvious to local traffic passing by.

My slow and primitive methods are less obvious up on the other end of the driveway. I’m not certain our efforts will ultimately produce the desired results but Cyndie and I agree what we can do ourselves will be better than nothing. Time will tell.

Having successfully made that small bit of progress near the road yesterday, I’d like to keep going while the weather allows until we use up the rest of the old pile. It’s a good exercise in coping with my apprehension over the impressions my methods give to local observers.



Written by johnwhays

October 16, 2022 at 10:19 am