Sunday, May 8, 2011

manual labor

Because I grew up with five brothers, certain chores never made it onto my Saturday list. Lawn mowing. Chopping wood. Trimming trees. Carrying heavy objects. Digging holes.

I planted flowers. Swept the grass off the walks. Weeded. Picked fruit & cucumbers.

I'd usually work with one of my sisters. My dad would sometimes have mercy on me and come over and weed a whole patch really fast. Just to give me some hope, I think. Sometimes I think about that when I'm doing work.

That's what I was thinking about today after five minutes of trying to rake 3 inches of hard, Utah clay into a ditch. I'm not sure how to explain the situation, but it includes a huge trench and a gigantic pile of dirt in my front yard last Fall. When the the trench was filled in, before the snow, before the winter, everything was level and all the grass in the front yard was covered in a layer of dirt.

Over the winter, the dirt in the trench settled about six inches.

So there I was with my rake.
It took me twenty seconds to realize I needed a shovel.

This was my process: Get the hard, Utah clay (and rocks) wet. Rake it, to loosen it up. Then use the shovel to dig.slash.scrape the dirt. This probably sounds easy. That's fine. Just imagine the rocks. Just imagine digging a hole parallel to the ground. Just imagine how you would move the dirt to the correct location (several feet away).

After fifteen minutes, I wanted to stop. I wondered if I could pay someone to do it for me. I thought, I'm never going to finish. I'm going to die. 

I went inside. I drank some water. I went back outside and kept digging (sideways). I had to say a couple of prayers because I really thought I was going to die. Periodically, I'd drink some water and eat some cheetos.

I'm not finished yet, but there is a lot of dirt in that trench. 
Monday = round two.  


  1. Ha!!!!! You really thought you were gonna die, huh?

  2. totally. maybe of boredom. i hate working by myself.


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