Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Whole Hole

This month we did some digging in our yard.  [By "we" I mean almost entirely "he."] The need for the digging is still as murky as the backed up septic line that was unearthed.  However, the term "back breaking labor" has been clarified for me. 

Boots muddy from backyard projects
The man of the house was kind enough to share his reflections on messing around with the septic and water tiles that criscross our back yard:

First, "I would hate to dig my own grave." Really? Why would that be so bad?
Then, "Can you imagine what it would have been like to dig out the basement of our house by hand? I've only dug a little hole five feet deep." Trust me, it isn't a "little" hole, but a large scar in our back yard.

Finally, "If I had to bury someone, I don't think I'd dig a rectangular grave. I'd just dig a 6 foot hole and crumple the body down into it." Good to know you're thinking ahead.

And then he called his brother and his brother's bobcat to come and help with the rest of the job.  Weilding a shovel is not fun.  When I helped him fill in the holes I decided that if I were in a forced labor camp I would probably be shot for stopping to wipe the sweat off my face one too many times.  Hmmm... it seems that hard work brings thoughts of death to both our minds.

But let's not dwell on death or septic systems.  Look what I found in the barn:

130 year old spider webs.  Fresh eggs.
Ok. So I put the egg there after I retrieved it from the outcast hen (she can't be with the other hens and their rooster because they pick on her. We have a strict no-bullying policy around this barnyard).  I was checking for Charlotte, but I think these webs might be as old as the beams they are built on.  Just kidding.  The German immigrants that built this farm would never have allowed spiders in their barn.

Hanging on another of our ancient out buildings is a thermometer that the Man of the House says doesn't work and I say does.  Regardless, we have had a few scorching days this week and I've watched the red line move further and further in the clock-wise direction.  I guess that's why I think it works.  Would Germans put a thermometer up that didn't work?  Did they even have plastic 130 years ago?  This came with the house, so either there was a bit of time travel involved by the original owners to procure this tool, or it is a later addition.  I don't know where they would have found a Delorian in 1890.

I took this picture at not quite 10 O'Clock AM yesterday. 
My children and I slept in our living room last night, near the window air conditioning unit.  I went to the boys' attic bedroom to retrieve their pillows and decided that no one built this house with the idea of humans occupying the attic.  130 years ago, people survived summer time in NorthWest Ohio without air conditioning or hair conditioning.  And they dug their basements and graves by hand.  And they built their barns without modern machinery.  And they wore more clothing than we wear.  And they probably smelled a little bit more sour than we smell.  And they probably didn't yell at their children much.  Not that they didn't want to yell, (remember most of the residents of NorthWest Ohio were German imigrants) but they just didn't have the energy to raise their voices. 
But you know what? I don't feel guilty that I live now.  With air conditioning and hair conditioning. With shorts and bobcats and deoderant and running water and energy to yell at my kids.  I don't feel guilty about that at all.
Not much guilty.
Maybe I should go find my own Delorian.


  1. This post made me laugh so hard! I never thought about the "too tired to yell" part.