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June 21, 2003: Dirt

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All week I have been planning for this weekend. All week, whenever someone asks what I'm going to do this weekend, I tell them we are moving dirt. I have also volunteered to let anyone come and help us move the dirt, but for some odd reason I have had no one take me up on that offer. Go figure.

Tuesday I called the place in the next town that delivers dirt in sufficiently large quantities and set up an appointment to have 5 cubic yards of dirt delivered to our driveway Friday morning. I did this so that we could get up as early as we wanted today and get started, without having to wait for anything. I had it all planned out. Friday morning the dirt would be delivered, and Friday night after Richard and I got home from work we would go off to the hardware store in town and buy us a wheelbarrow. I'd already coordinated with my dad to borrow their wheelbarrow and an extra shovel so we'd have two of each.

And then Friday afternoon I came home from work and there was no dirt. The driveway was pristine. And worse yet, it was late enough that the dirt-delivering company had closed for the day so we had no idea if we would still be able to get our dirt and get this chore done!

Needless to say, there was a fair bit of grumbling last night. So instead of going off to buy ourselves a wheelbarrow and load our car with borrowed shovels and such, we went out for Chinese food, and then came home and consoled ourselves with an episode of Veggie Tales (yes we are still going through all of those). This one included not only a romantic tango about Barbara Manatee, but also our favorite character (Larry the cucumber) singing about how he loves his rubber ducky, *and* a highly informative flannel-graph (In our defense, the latest trio of movies from Netflix also includes What Dreams May Come, so it's not like silly cartoons about singing vegetables are the only thing we watch these days. Really they aren't. I swear!).

Luckily all turned out just fine. This morning I called them the instant they opened and they promised to come right out to deliver our dirt. They gave us a time window; we eyed the clock, got dressed, and figured we'd have enough time before they arrived to go grab some breakfast and my parents' dirt-lugging paraphernalia we were borrowing. So imagine our surprise when we turned onto the main street through town and saw the truck of dirt heading toward our house, much earlier than expected! We hastily did a slightly illegal u-turn, and hightailed it after the truck, since I didn't really want to go to through the whole "where's my dirt?' scenario a second time.

The lady driving the truck dumped a huge pile of dirt on our driveway and after a short trip to get the aforementioned breakfast, shovel, and purchase a shiny new blue wheelbarrow of our very own, we got started.

Dirt is heavy. In case you were not aware of this, let me repeat this statement. Dirt is heavy. Very heavy. We had two different types of wheelbarrows and I would fill them both with dirt in the front of the house, and then we would lug them into the backyard and dump them into the bed, where I would leave Richard to spread the dirt all over the bed (since the bed is 10 feet in diameter) and I'd lug the empty (and much lighter) wheelbarrows back to the big pile o' dirt and repeat the process over and over and over again.

We aren't done with the dirt-lugging fun, unfortunately, but we're definitely more than halfway there. We knew it was time to quit for the day when both sets of arms abruptly decided that lifting and toting were no longer options. The muscles had had enough.

I am hoping that it will only take us a few more hours tomorrow to finish, if only so that we can park the cars back in the garage by tomorrow night. The (not quite as big as it used to be) pile of dirt in the driveway makes that just a teeny bit difficult right now.

I am also hoping that my arms will have decided by tomorrow morning to play nicely again and be willing to last the few hours it will take, because no matter what, we have got to get this dirt moved. And if my arms refuse to cooperate before we are done, I'm a little nervous, because frankly, I do not relish lugging wheelbarrows with my lips.

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