Friday, October 31, 2014

Life With Rain

What a beautiful sight: my brick patio in the rain!

Water has been falling out of the sky for about three hours or so, thanks be to God. Yesterday I cleaned up the south side of the house, gathering mouldering leaves for Alex's compost bin, pulling river rock out of the ground (dumping the excess river rock on that side was one of the dumbest things I've ever done) and then trying to hack a drainage channel into the hard, dry soil.

Back in 1997, I went out there in high boots in the unrelenting rain and used a pickaxe and shovel to make a drainage ditch to the front of the house. But after that winter, the rains weren't bad, and I more or less forgot how poorly the hard clay soil of this area soaks up water. And if you don't maintain your infrastructure, nature fills in with dust and leaves, and homeowners dump rocks into it.

Well, I wasn't having much luck yesterday with the digging, so Alex offered to use her younger muscles to scratch a drainage basin. Chopping at the nearly cementitious earth was hard even for her, so she got some much younger muscles to help -- Mr. Let-Me-At-It Eperis.

Bernie calls him "Eperussell," because it's become fairly obvious that there is a healthy portion of Jack Russell terrier in his blood. Remember how I said he wasn't? Well, I believe I was wrong, and I also believe that the previous owner found out that he wasn't what she was told he was and that's why she ditched him. Anyway, what do terriers do? Right, they DIG.

Ep pitched into the excavation with the vigor of foolish youth and the determination of a race of ratters. It was like a light bulb came on in his brain and he realized that digging crazily was what he was meant to do with his life. Alex merely directed the vector of those flying white paws.

Of course, it is a double-edged sword: the ditch got done (at least as much as we needed for this storm) by puppy paws ... but now that he knows how much fun it is to dig, he's going to need lots of supervision while he's outside.

Especially since we can't keep him from jumping onto the top step in the pool every time he goes out. Oh, yeah, he's a water dog, too. Dirty digging paws in the pool? Heaven help us.

And thank you, God, for this beautiful rain.

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