The day the Deere men came. It will be remembered with much joy and celebration in these parts. How many months — years? — has it been since we dreaded every flush and tried to space every washing of dishes and clothes for fear of evoking evil fluids and vapors out of the ancient failed concrete pipes that run just this side of the east wall of the basement, site of Tuck's shop? It only got worse with time. Recently it was unmentionable. We will say no more at this time but only Hallelujah for our salvation this day. Above Tuck chats with miracle worker Jimmie Caron at the controls of the totally awesome John Deere backhoe that delivered us from evil.
Jimmie drove the backhoe up the east drive and set to work in the area beside the basement window at the southeast corner of the house. Above, the view from the front porch. Tuck had weeks ago removed bricks and set them aside on the east drive (just behind dirt pile) in preparation for their arrival.
Unto us this day in the city of Chelsea came the brothers Caron, Jimmie (orange shirt) and Paul (blue shirt), the very embodiment of those hard-working Americans our facile politicians are forever evoking in tremulous tones. The Carons used to employ perhaps twelve workers, but, they told Tuck, they're down to just the two of them, having realized they were doing all the work while their employees were watching. Their earnest and steady devotion to the task at hand called to mind "Christ Carrying the Cross" by Hieronymus Bosch (right).
They're so darned good that they're usually occupied with big-time, public-related works. Our good luck today in getting them to work on our project was someone else's bad luck in having had a major piece of equipment break down. Above the view over our border garden towards the front of the house, porch at right.
Digging first with the backhoe and then by hand with shovels as they got down deeper, the Carons carefully spared our precious plants — day lilies above on the precipice of the black hole beyond, and even the weedy milkweeds we treasure as nursery and nectar bar to so many interesting insects and arachnids throughout the growing season.
Speaking of watching men work, it was mesmerizing. The two brothers' having dug a grave-sized hole perhaps nine feet deep and the length and width of a casket, they ferreted out useless shards of the old, decrepit sewer pipe and laid in a shiny green PVC replacement (below just to right of Jimmie's head). Above Jimmie holds the water supply pipe they had installed years ago in his left hand while probing with shovel in his right for the remains of the sewer pipe.
They came, they saw and they conquered. Filled up the big hole before they headed out. Above Jimmie checks out stream of stuff now freed up and flowing from the basement as Tuck, pretty in blue, looks on, ever at the ready to lend a hand. They'll finish up the details inside next time there's a rainy day. According to NOAA, all sun all the time for the next period of time.
"You sure work hard," we ventured, thanking the brothers for their awesome efforts and congratulating them for their ultimate success at the end of the day. Our contribution had been to flitter in and out with camera in hand as documentarian. "We're not fat," answered Jimmie.
"You won't have to go to the gym today," quipped Tuck.