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I wish I was 8 again

I wish I was 8 again. Maybe then I wouldn't hurt like I do today. I didn't think I was that badly out of shape but you wouldn't know it by talking to my muscles this morning. At least I'm not alone, I'm one of five walking wounded from an 8-year-old's birthday party yesterday.

Actually, for most of us, the pain started much earlier in the weekend. (Cuddles, this is what you have to look forward to when you get a little older). Deb and I got to the farm around 9:30 on Friday night. Soon as we walked in the door, the phone rings and it's our freinds, Gwen and Rob calling to say there is a party out at Rob's cousin Clint's new cabin and we should come on out. I had been to Clint's cabin last spring when it was still a 2x4 frame and hadn't really paid attention to how we got there. I swear these were the directions I was given over the phone:

Get on the Camden blacktop and go through Camden. Go out to Alvin's house and turn in front of his barn. Follow that road until you come to a T. Instead of going right or left, go straight across (which is someone's front yard by the way). Turn right at the hay bales and find a field road that leads along the bean field. (This turned out to be more like tire tracks in wet grass than a road). When you get to the the big brown cow, hang a sharp left and head down the hill. Shift into 4WD so you can get through the creek at the bottom of the gully(realize this is at night and I'm about to go through a creek). When you clear the creek, come up the hill and head toward the lights. That's the party.

Gwen must have been drunk because she forgot my truck did not have 4WD, so managing the creek was an affair of barreling down the hill and hoping the momentum would carry me across without killing the engine. Well, I made it anyway. So, we are at the party and I meet 4 new cousins I've never met before so it's a good time for me. Actually they are not new, they are in their 40's, they are just new to me. So I'm involved in talking to them and standing around the fire and drinking a beer when Deb declares she's headed to the bathroom. Where we were, bathroom qualifies as the woods in general. She takes two steps and takes a header, right down on her face in the dirt. Seems her bootlace got caught on the grate they used to cover the firepit with. To her credit, she didn't curse, scream or cry. She just laid there a few seconds kind of stunned I think. I pulled her up and could already see she had injured her knee. The jeans were ripped and blood was oozing down her leg. She was also holding her left thigh where she had landed on a small stump. Deb bruises easily so I knew these were going to last awhile. Rest of the party was uneventful and ended around 1 am.

I was looking forward to a weekend of sleeping in and not much to do. My two big things were going to be fixing my car and posting my property against hunters. I wanted to get some fishing in at some point and we had Evin's 8th Birthday party to go to at noon on Sunday. Evin is the adorable son of Rob and Gwen who still thinks it's OK to be seen hugging adults. I love this little guy.

Note to Self on things not to do! - Never put 2 pizzas in the oven at 1 am and sit down in the recliner and fall asleep for 4 hours. The result is two very black and very hard hockey pucks and a house full of smoke. And no, I wasn't drunk. Just exhausted.

Saturday morning around 8, the phone rings and it's Gwen who seems to think that if she's awake then I have to be awake as well. Seems Grandpa is coming over to pick up Rob and wants to know If they can pick up me to help dig some holes out at Grandpa's place. I complain a bit until Gwen says Rob is bringing the gas powered auger so it shouldn't be too bad. So I agree.

Grandpa, pictured here with Deb lives in this falling down old house with no indoor plumbing and a well for water. Recently, He decided life would be much better if he had a better house with modern conveniences. So he committed $32,000 to a brand new double-wide trailer fully furnished with all the appliances included. Unfortunately, he blew all his money on the down payment and couldn't afford to hire a contractor to come prepare the site for the trailer to go in. Seems he needed 18 holes dug to pour concreete for the support footings. We figure with the auger it would go quickly enough and Rob and I would be able to spend a couple hours fishing and working on my car.

What Grandpa neglected to tell us until we got all the way out there was each hole had to be 18" in diamter and 36" deep. Since the bit on the auger is only 8" wide and 32" deep max, we were going to have to sink three holes for each of the 18 holes and then clean them out with post hole diggers down to 36". Suddenly, this is seeming like an all day thing. Rob and I get started on the first hole and 8 inches down, we hit rock. We try moving the auger a few inches over and hit rock again. So we clean the hole out with shovels and discover we are on a sheet of limestone shale with no idea how deep I goes. Problem is, the hole has to go right there. No room for variance in the plans. Damn! So it's back to my farm for pry bars, a 16 lb sledge hammer and a pickaxe. Now we get to feel what state prisoners feel like. Rob and I start in on the rock and Grandpa says he has to go make a phone call. 1/2 hour later he's still not back and I begin to feel a little like we are in a Tom Sawyer story except digging holes instead of painting a fence.

It took us 2 solid hours but we managed to go through 27" of rock to complete the first hole. Only 17 more to go. We get to the next one and there is this big damn stump in the way. Grandpa says he's going to have a buddy with a backhoe come and remove it but that won't be until Monday. In the meantime, we can't get around it to finish the second hole. So Rob gets the bright idea to pull it out with his truck but we need a chain. So it's back to my farm again for a 30' log chain. We decided to go with my heaviest one which is 3/8" which we use to hook on the tractor and pull wind blown trees out of the woods. Should do for a stump. We get back out there and hook the chain to the stump and the truck. Rob puts the truck in 4WD and granny low and starts out but can't do more than shake the heck out of the stump. So he decides it can only be accomplished by backing up to the stump, then going full bore forward and trying to jerk the thing out of the ground. He does so and a good sized piece of the stump comes flying out. Hey, it actually worked so we re-hook the chain and try again. This time, the chain comes flying up in the air and almost goes through the back window of the truck. (True Stories of Rednecks in Action). Seems we pulled hard enough to actually break the chain. And no, it didn't break at a weld, it actually stretched and snapped the metal. You figure out the torque it took to do that. We only lost about 8 inches and I was able to fix the chain but the stump was proving pretty tough. Of course being guys we were not about to give up on it now. So after another hour, we had the stump down to ground level. We cut into the remaining roots and poured in diesel fuel and lit it on fire.

So now it's noon and we still have 17 holes to dig. We get six more done before I say I need to go so I can do some work on the car. That was around 2:30. The rest of the day was relatively uneventful. I did manage to change my oil, air filter, fixed my headlights and instaled a new muffler as well as fixed my heater core. But laying under the car, I realized I was starting to ache. The 35 year old human body is not made for working on your knees and pounding on rock for hours at a time. I worked on the car until around 9 and then went inside to monitor an Ebay auction I was trying to win. I did win it by the way. 367 Shark's teeth for $40. I'll make jewelry with them and resell them for hundreds.

Sunday, I woke up pretty sore already and helped Deb and Gwen get ready for Evin's party. I made him a large Dreamcatcher as his present and Deb got him a $20 Walmart gift card so he can go shopping. He loves that. Evin gets to choose a theme for his party every year. Last year it was a skating party but I was still healing broken ribs from hitting the cow so I didn't skate...oh darn! This year, he decided on a bowling party so I had no excuses. Deb and Gwen had bowled the night before and were still sore. Rob, Grandpa and I were sore from digging through rock and pulling stumps. So we all pretty much sucked hind tit when it came to the actuall bowling part. But Evin had a great time which is all that mattered. He got a ton of gifts and cleaned up on cash. It total, he got around $175 in cash and gift cards. He did better than I do on my birthdays.

After his party, we went back to his folk's house and watched Toy Story II which was one of his presents. Made me feel really old because I could identify all of the toys from when I was a kid. There were 20-year-old folks in the room who didn't know what the monkeys were from the Barrel of Monkeys Game.

So now I'm just sore and tired today and not really wanting to do any work. So I've closed my door and I sit here listening to old progressive rock tunes and waiting for lunch to roll around.

Pretty sad huh?



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 23rd, 2000 12:21 pm (UTC)
Me get old? NAH!
Didn't anybody tell you that I'm immortal. Got a fountain of youth in the back yard. Been drinking from it for centuries(well ever since I came over on that Spanish ship looking for gold.) I'm actually over 300 years old. Plus I eat alot of Jello-Puddin Snakcs, and as we all know nothing makes you feel like a kid again like Jello-Puddin Snacks.LoL. I actually can't wait to be an old man. That way I can do crazy old geezer crap and blame it on being senile and nobody will be mad at me. Hehehe(plus if I continue taking Kung-Fu I'll be a master at using my walker to defend myself.)


Oct. 23rd, 2000 12:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Me get old? NAH!
I always get a laugh out of reading your responses. I'll be writing more for you to make fun of in a little bit.

Oct. 23rd, 2000 06:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Me get old? NAH!
Yeah I like your journal alot. It reminds me of mine in a way. Great minds think alike and all. Well time for me to rant on my journal now.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Wander aka StoneBear
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