Saturday, November 26, 2011
Tumbled Down Wall
A section of our road divides cultivated fields. Old stone walls line both sides of the road for quite a distance. Time, trees, weather and thieves have left these walls in quiet disrepair. We have been driving this road for nearly half a century and I always felt that these walls deserved repair. My initial conversation with the owners of this land was with the farmer's wife. I offered to work on fixing some of the holes in the walls.
Repairing a fallen wall is a new experience for me. While I was clearing the hole a fair sized section of standing wall collapsed. The scope of the task had increased by at least a factor of two. Doubt filled my mind about my ability to set this right when the farmer appeared. Someone had called to alert him that a thief was stealing stone. During our conversation it became clear to me that he and his wife had not reached a meeting of the minds on allowing me to work on his walls. Now the pressure on me to fix my mess was great.
A short time later another huge pickup truck pulled up. The young man that climbed down out of the cab was enormous. His muscular frame built by a lifetime of hard physical work blocked much of the horizon. His arms were pushed out to the side rather than hanging straight down by his massive upper body. He was certain that he had caught a thief red handed. There was stone in the bed of my small truck. I had brought some of my leftovers to help fill the hole. We reached an uneasy understanding. He had a difficult time believing that anyone would repair another person's wall.
Much to my surprise by late afternoon the hole was filled. Tomorrow we will see if the monster rock on the ground can be safely walked up a ramp to the top of the wall. The vertical seam between the original wall and the repaired section concerns me. This weak area may allow the wall to fall again . For now we will wait and see if our neighbor will give me permission to do another repair. My work must pass his inspection.