Monday, November 5, 2012

Watching Work

It is SO neat to watch some folks work. They know what they are doing and get 'er done! This morning the crew who are paving our road are out there doing their thing and were here before I even got out of the shower at 7:15--early in our part of the world. The backup alarms, the thunder and rattle of big machines and all the rest of the attendant noise just tickles the fire out of me. I take a gleefully devilish delight in waking up the neighbor across the street because he and his visitors wake me up at all hours of the night. Turn about fair play, right?

For as long as the road has existed up here in front of this old house, nothing but dirt or dirt and gravel have been on the surface of the road. When Fang and I were able to afford a load of crusher run gravel, we got a friend in the trucking business to dump a load to put in the worst of the mud places and spread it out some. We had to get another neighbor, now deceased--Leroy Fox--to spread it out for us since at the time we did not have a tractor. Fang and I have talked--and talked--about getting something done to this road, but we just never did. He had his heart attack trying to shovel the gravel back up on the approach. Then Donnie Anderson had a heart attack doing the same thing. Time to do something about it before we all start having heart attacks!

The City of Wichita Falls would not let Mr. Anderson deed this street to them for whatever reason, so we are responsible for its maintenance. But you can bet the trash trucks will be going up and down just like before--wallowing out more depressions. We want the trash service, but those trucks are something else again. This pavement is only going to be 12 foot across, so let's hope the trucks don't destroy what we are trying to accomplish.

A city can only provide so much out of its budget for improvements, but Fang and his family lived here for 63 years. I have only lived here with Fang for nearly 44, so maybe I would not have as much right to gripe, but it does seem that taxes ought to count for something in the overall picture of things. I know that we are in Wichita County and that the county commissioner ONCE had our street graded for us. Wow. I am underwhelmed by that kind of service. Of course, at the time it was all mud and dirt, but still. A load of gravel costs? And what is strange is that the city resents any "infringement" by the county services. Go figure.

Making one's neighborhood look half way decent should not have to cost that much. But obviously someone has to start somewhere to get things going. When we had our second child on the way, we tore down a derelict house next door to us. Most of the lumber was salvageable so some of the family and neighbors took the lumber and siding out of the way for us. Then we hauled off as much of the roofing material as we could pick up and burned the little pieces of wood that no one wanted. For all these years we have maintained the area and kept it mowed, even putting a garden in most years.

I think of the areas up north and how much debris has accumulated just from hurricane Sandy and feel sorry for the folks up there. It is going to take some massive efforts to reclaim the areas hit hardest by that storm. However, this is a good time to clean up and rebuild on a better basis. Just like the area between our home and the highway, we keep it picked up, mowed, and maintained the best way possible. Some things are just not possible for someone my age to do, but when it can be done with a little help from the neighbors, it is worth the effort to make home and one's home street look decent.

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