Monday, July 28, 2008

John Gets to Play in the Dirt

Today John used a back hoe to dig a trench. Our first week here at White River Wildlife Area, he drove the tractor with a front loader and back hoe, but he only used the front bucket. We had both done that with a smaller tractor at Gnat Creek. This was his first time to drive a full-size tractor.

Today we were installing a large sign board near the entrance to the wildlife area. Last week Aimee and Ed put the sign board together. Today Aimee, John and I set it up. That called for digging two holes three feet deep to put the legs in. After Aimee used the front bucket to smooth out the area, she set up the tractor to dig with the back hoe, then she dug one shovel full. Next she asked John if he wanted to do it. Did he ever!

He worked slowly and methodically to learn how each lever operated, then started digging. Everything went well, except he couldn't stop giggling. Then there was a problem, two feet down he hit rock. We don't know if it is a full rock layer or several large rocks. But he couldn't dig any deeper. So Aimee said, just dig a trench all the way across.

For nine years we owned a funeral home in Castle Rock, Colorado, which had been in John's family for 38 years when we bought it. We often hired a back hoe operator to dig graves at the cemeteries in the surrounding area. But not until today did John get a chance to practice what he had seen them doing back then. What a kick!

Digging a trench 9 to 10 feet long is the way big boys play in the dirt.

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