Excavation and Repair

LeAnn posted this blog on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 at 12:02 am

Lots of commotion here around Rural Route 2. Or there will be. It all started when we got a bad rainstorm on August 10. We ended up with about five inches here at the house. Other places in the county got over seven inches. The rain came down in buckets. It just poured.

The next morning, I discovered that roads were washed out and culverts were gone and roads were flooded and the little trout creek running through town looked like a river instead of a small trout stream.

And then of course, there was our house. A sink hole that’s maybe three feet by three feetĀ  and another three feet deep opened up on the west side of the house. My first thought was, “Where did the dirt go?”

The answer was that it washed out down below around the cedar tree. The water went underground and then ran a channel under some daylilies and blue flag irises and washed out quite a lot of soil and shale rock.

The hole isn’t all that bad, but what I’m afraid of is that if it gets deeper, it could compromise the integrity of the foundation.

While I was taking pictures of it, my kitty, Long John Silver, decided he wanted to be in the picture, too. Long John Silver is Jack’s brother. Since Jack died on August 6, Long John has been lonely. He now spends quite a lot of time in the barn where he and his brother and sisters were born. It is almost as if he thinks that if he goes back to where they were babies, he will find his brother. At times he is inconsolable, walking around calling and crying and calling. He used to like to come in the basement at night, but without his brother, it is as if he cannot stand the thought of being inside. Jack and Long John’s sister, Whiskers, has always been somewhat of a loner and kept herself apart from her brothers. There were four kittens originally, but I found a home for one girl kitty.

At any rate, we called an excavator to look at the hole, and he agreed that his concern would be the integrity of the foundation if it washes out farther.

As I told Randy — I would just as soon not wake up down in the horse pasture some morning because the house slid down the hill.

The excavator recommended putting in window wells and sloping the ground away from the house in back so that it drains properly. Instead of running around the side of the house, the water will run off the back.

We’ve been waiting for the excavator to be able to work us into his schedule, and I found out now that he will be coming during the week to do the work. That’s if the ground stays dry enough. He had the power company and the phone company come in and mark out where the buried cable is. The work will involve filling in along the length of the house and sloping it back toward the driveway.

So, Randy and I spent Saturday afternoon digging up my hostas. I just planted them there last fall! And now I’ve had to dig them up! We put them in galvanized tubs, and when the work is finished, we will plant them along the house again.

We also spent time digging up the daylilies that grew around the corner of the house. The daylilies on the east side of the house all died out in the drought, but some on the top survived — and thrived — because of the water dripping from the small window air conditioner — and we dug those up and moved them to the bottom of the hill at the east side of the house.

Randy also spent time deconstructing the porch. Our porch is actually a ramp that my dad built 25 years ago so that my mother could get into the house. She never made it home from the hospital. She never saw the ramp that Dad built for her. After 25 years, the thing is still solid. I guess when Dad built something, he built it to last.

Randy managed to get the porch out in one piece. The excavator thinks he may be able to get the concrete steps out in one piece too. He says they usually do come out in one piece. But occasionally they don’t. If the steps break up, we’ll have to do something else for the porch — maybe a deck with a short ramp. I have discovered that I like a ramp because it is easy to move things in and out of the house — washers, dryers, stoves, a piano. The other thing about a ramp is — no steps to fall down.

This next week is going to be hectic around here. Excavation. Newspaper work. And in the evening helping to set up for a thrift sale for our church next weekend during the Firefighters Ball — the 43rd annual for our local volunteer firemen. Lots of thrift sales around town then, so it’s a good time to do one for the church too. The parsonage is in town, so that will make a good location. We hope.

LeAnn R. Ralph

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