My Bright Idea
It was the end of summer and I was at my wit’s end. Mr. Raven would not stop working; prying rocks out of the hard-packed dirt, washing the rocks and using them for a border between the road and the future lawn. He sorted the rocks by size, using different sizes in different areas of the yard. He sifted the dirt through screens, pulling out weeds and roots. He carefully raked the sifted soil level. Buckets and buckets and buckets of rocks and rocks and rocks, all day, no matter how scorching hot, no matter how windy and cold. Only rain would stop him. I got him on the rainy days.
It had to be done and this was the most economical way to do it: old-fashioned, back-breaking labor. I helped him some days. I sat in the dirt and sorted rocks by size. I pressed dirt through screens. I washed rocks and dumped them in their designated areas on properly laid out landscaping fabric. It was a great work-out and at the end of the day he would brag about how little he weighed. I liked the weight-loss aspect of it too, but the back-aches got me down and I thought I might’ve herniated something. This was not how I’d intended to spend my retirement; busting my butt for a manicured yard.
Neighbors would stop and ask if he was digging for gold. One chap asked, “Working on Sunday? No church?”
“No, no church”, said I. God wants us to sort these rocks.
By the end of August he was running out of rocks and I was running out of summer. That’s when I had my bright idea.
You know, where there’s a lot of rocks? Down by the river. Pretty rocks, and they’re pre-washed!
That’s how I got him down to the river. I lured him with rocks. We drove right onto the rocky shore and loaded up buckets and buckets and buckets of rocks. We had a truckload in no time. At home we dumped them from the truck onto properly laid-out landscaping cloth. Easy peasy, no washy.
Mr. Raven said next time we should bring the fishing gear.
We took fishing gear and folding chairs, sunscreen and sunhats and a cooler with libations. We loaded up our rock buckets in no time, then relaxed by the river and caught fish. We went every day until all the landscaping fabric was covered with rock. Topsoil arrived and grass seed was planted.
Finally! We stopped gathering rocks and started living like proper retired people, lounging by the sparkling river in the warm summer sun.
That was my bright idea.