Breaking Ground

After months of planning, waiting, laughing, crying, it’s finally here.  In a way it’s happening so fast now it’s anti-climatic.  Or rather there’s no time to stand back and let it sink in.  Literally, in 48 hours, we went from not knowing when we’d get the permit from the county to standing there watching as the excavator started clearing out the driveway.

I frantically left work, picked up the plans, changed into my “anti-tick” get up, threw some tools in the car and made up a plywood sign to staple the permit to (first blood by the way as I jabbed a drill bit into my finger, rushing to put boards together).  Stopped and got an SD card for our ProjectCam at Pilot and met the excavator at the site just as the rain stopped.

The wife brought the boys out and our oldest gleefully got to see his first of what will be plenty of “big trucks”.  In this case a big truck, literally, with a trailer and a big yellow bulldozer.

We quickly went over the game plan for the driveway: contours, elevation changes, and we walked out the proposed path, knee high in rain wetted brush (for the last time in some areas), all while referencing the site plan. For now, not a single big tree is “in the way”.  Fortunately I flagged a bunch of little flowering trees to save.  They proved valuable in marking our location and getting our bearings on the driveway. The excavator then proceeded with his bulldozer to easily plow through the brush that previously hindered my every move out there.  I was not sad to see a new “easy” path open up before me.  My son hung out and watched for a bit, happy to see the dozer topple little baby trees.  A couple of the flagged trees were easily set aside for potential future replanting.  We’ll create a little nursery on site and replant them this fall.

I staked the permit holder and then fiddled with my ProjectCam.  Of course the cam seems like it is set up to mount to a 2′ diameter tree and all I could find in the location I want to shoot from were puny 2″ diameter locust trees.  I set it up for now.  Though not sure I remembered to turn it on.  I’ll go back tomorrow with a better mounting plan of attack.  I’ll write more about the ProjectCam in the future.

Tomorrow I think may be taking a half day vacation and spend it dropping the larger trees that currently live where the house is going.  Sad to have to cut them down, but I’ll make my peace with them.  Try not to think about it too much.  Plus we’ll plant more than we cut down by time the project is done.

-Chris

Excavator's bulldozer begins cutting the driveway

Permit Day

I’ll bring you up to speed on the project in the coming days and weeks, but more importantly, I’m pretty sure today is “permit day”!  Which is both exciting and terribly frightening in many regards. What “permit day” means is basically the government says “Yeah, go ahead and start doing what you plan on doing and we’ll keep an eye on you.” What it means to us is that weeks, months and even years of planning go from “what ifs” to reality.  Exciting because what was once imagined becomes tangible.  Frightening because there are 1) still a lot of “what ifs”, 2) mistakes and poor planning (hopefully both are in small quantities) come to light real fast, 3) there’s a lot less pressure in the “what if” phase.

-chris