15 May 2009

Rocks and Cement = Sidewalks

Last August, for my birthday, I got a letter from our town. A lot of people around got these letters. Mine came with a black and white printer copy of a photo of my sidewalk. More specifically, the big corner chunk that was coming loose (from where the town's snow plow hit it two winters ago). Residents had ten months to make the appropriate repairs, or the town will do it for you, charge you the cost, plus 10%, plus fine you. Nice. Well, what can you do? It is what it is, I guess. Oh, yeah, there's also a $15 construction permit either way.

Most people weren't prepared to make the repairs last fall, and of course you can't do this kind of job during the winter, so over the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of this sort of thing going on around town:Yup. That's my little slice of construction.

Mom's boyfriend John and his neighbor Bart are going to help with this, as they have both been laid off recently. John is very handy in general and Bart worked for years for a company that does paving in the summer, snow clearing in the winter.

On Tuesday Bart cut the broken sections away from the rest of the sidewalk and the street, then John took a sledgehammer to the sidewalk.

On Wednesday John and Lewis loaded the largest pieces onto the trailer that John left for us. Then Mom and I took over and we dug the rest of the smaller pieces out of the pit. That's what I'm calling it now. The pit.

As it turns out, there was a big layer of field rocks just below the cement layer. Most of them have come completely loose from the cement. Mom and I picked them out of the rubble and have piled them onto my crescent flowerbed. (Poor violets, they didn't stand a chance.) I'm not quite sure what I want to do with them yet, but I have many options. More on that later.Now, I'm not saying my sidewalk is in great shape. It certainly is not. There are only two sections that don't have cracks. I would have liked to do the whole thing at once, and if I could have put this project off for a couple more years, maybe we would have been able to do that. But right now money is so tight that I don't even know how I am going to pay for the supplies to finish this project. So thank you, town, for forcing this on the homeowners during the worst recession many of us have ever seen.
Oliver enjoyed watching us for a while, but once I gave him a chewy he didn't care what was going on anywhere in the neighborhood. That's it, buddy. Get rid of that nasty tartar and plaque.


" said...

Chewies put golden retrievers in heaven. Ollie is a lucky dog :) Check out that look of fluffy ecstasy on his face!

Sandy said...

I agree! Pure bliss!