Friday, July 24, 2009


Today we broke ground. Or should I say, a giant earth mover broke tons of ground. At around seven this morning Nancy and I were sipping our coffee and tea respectively and starting to think that it wouldn't be happening today... it was raining, damp, and calm and just didn't feel like anything active was going to happen. Then, at maybe 7:04, two white trucks show up and within minutes, the digger was coming down the drive way. After a short consultation about depth and site markers the project was suddenly made manifest by the powerful combination of hydraulics, steel, and human attention.

I asked Anna and Nancy today if they could imagine anyone being as fascinated with watching them do their work as it is to watch a skillful backhoe operator going at it. I swear, Dave, the operator could pick up a plate of fine china with his machine if he wanted. He could also crush a car. He reminded me of a limber skier as he turned, retracted, lifted, dumped, pulled, pushed and piled the earth.

Digging went smoothly and I was greatly relieved to see how much fill we were accumulating throughout the day. One of the harder elements for me to envision throughout the design process has been how the landscape will pan out. A good part of that is dependent on how much fill we have to work with. It looks now that we'll be in good shape to structure the landscape without any abrupt or sever drops. Phew.

I had called DigSafe last week in preparation for this work. They came and located the main power line coming to the existing garage with spray paint on the ground. Dave was aware of the location and was working away when suddenly the power went off. It turns out there was a loop of wire outside the marks on the ground and he hit it. Except for some lost time, there was no serious damage. Green Mountain Power came and got us back in shape in good time.

By the end of the day we were left with a massive, gaping hole in the yard. Its just so impressive to see what a powerful machine can do and also to see the empty space where the house will go. It is so exciting.

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