Monday, April 12, 2010

Busy Bees with Blistered Green Thumbs

For years I have been trying to talk Jim into doing something different with the corner of our yard that is a half-court sized piece of concrete. I knew we needed to do something different with it the first time our kids suggested it would be the perfect place to build a half-pipe. Jim grew up playing and loving basketball. Just our luck, not one of the boys has had a desire to play. so I suggested a swimming pool. That made Jim nervous. He told me we couldn't swim until he got home from work. I stopped begging after a few years. Then he got into the wood working thing. I thought maybe he could build a shop on the "court". He's still thinking about that. Meanwhile, our three car garage has turned in to a one car garage with a wood shop. In recent months, he has been inspired by his brother (who has a giant garden) to expand our own garden... by DOUBLE!!! This requires the removal of some grass and 1/4th of the basketball court.

The boys had spring break last week and we decided to stay home. Jim thought breaking up concrete would keep them busy, and it did. On Friday we had run out of things to do so that's when they started. They borrowed a sledge hammer from the neighbors and went to work.

We weren't quite sure what to do when the wheelbarrow got full. I called Jim and he told us just to dump it on the side of the driveway. (I'm sure our neighbors love that.

They got one or two loads done but it was really slow going. You can't fit much in a wheelbarrow before you just can't make it roll!

When Jim got home from work he helped them out for a while but it was still slow going. We decided it would be worth the expense to rent a jack hammer. So, First thing Saturday morning he went and got one.

It was noisy (sorry again, neighbors!) and he told me we might have to replace all the fillings in his teeth, but it was so much faster! Eventually there was enough room so they could start some piles of rubble right there and didn't have to use the wheelbarrow anymore.

Jim had to leave for a little bit so they all got a chance to use the "power tool". Josh got the most use out of it. He got really good at it

Even the neighbor, Alex, got a turn. (Later that night we went out to dinner with Al's parents. They asked us how we got their son to haul concrete rubble for 10 hours and they can't even get him to clean his room!)

Finally, by the end of the day, they got it done! It was hard work, they still have some sore muscles, but they did a great job and i'm so proud of them all!

We still don't know what to do with the rubble but we have a few ideas. Hopefully we can get it cleaned up soon. It is almost time to transfer some of our baby plants outside. But whatever happens, I know in years to come the boys will have conversations that will sound something like this, "Remember that spring break when we didn't do anything fun and dad made us break up concrete?"

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