Friday, September 28, 2012
Be Careful What You Wish For
When we were looking for a piece of land to retire to, we knew that we wanted stones in abundance for wall building. We have more stones than dirt here but most of them are small. Finding a stone as big as a dinner plate is rare. More than a century of farming activity has broken most the surface stones into small pieces. Still there is a fear that a monster stone will be found in the middle of a planned planting area. This beast, measuring 24" X 12" X 6", was more than a little difficult to move. The gash in the top surface was the only impact that the farmer's plow had on this stone. The plow bounced up and over while the stone firmly held its grip on mother earth. Ed found the top of the stone with his spade. It was instantly obvious that larger tools were needed.
He had to split the stone into two still large pieces to remove them from the hole. Intact the stone would only wiggle from side to side. No upward motion was possible. A single well placed blow from the pry bar made one stone two. The smaller piece was lifted from the hole. The larger piece remained reluctant to move upward.
This rock was buried with its long axis absolutely vertical. Improperly handled, a stone this size can be a career ender. With the small piece out of the hole, Ed was able to safely roll the larger piece up and out of the hole.
When Ed was looking for a cardiologist one suggested that he limit strenuous activity like walking up slopes. Stone work like this was out of the question. Calm controlled slow effort moved the stone up and out. The rest of the day was filled with a nap and light activity. He really is getting too old for this kind of exertion but he did wake up this morning.