Here is what I destroyed.
The peaceful scene above is Mom's fish pond. It was a Mother's Day gift from my brother and I and she loves it, but it IS small and lately it has developed a leak which requires constant refilling.
So, we asked her if she would like a new, BIGGER pond for Mother's Day 2009, and she was all for that.
I drove over to St. Augustine late Friday night so I could take Mom and Dad out to Theo's for breakfast and afterwards get started on the pond rehab. I didn't want to leave it all for Mother's Day, so that my brother and I would have to spend the whole day working our sonbutts off, instead of basking in the glow of the Mother's present on that day.
I figured anything I could get done this weekend would make next weekend go that much smoother.
On a side note, yesterday was the first day I've seen my Dad standing on his own since he fell and broke his leg before Christmas.
I can't tell you how good that was. What a happy sight.
The crew at Theo's came out one by one and welcomed him back like a conquering hero.
Pretty damn sweet.
Okay ... where was I?
My plan ... right ... my plan was to cleverly goof off and hang with my parents until the dramatic difference in the heat capacity of land and water caused the sea breeze to kick in after lunch.
That allowed me to run them around St. Augustine on some banking errands, zip to Home Depot on my own to check the pond dimensions, and sit around eating Mom's pot of delicious Lima beans and bread for lunch.
Finally, the bean pot was empty and the banana leaves were beginning to rustle, signalling the beginning of the sea breeze ... my cue to begin working.
Surface rocks, plants, the plastic heron, pump, water, and the pond shell itself were all removed first.
Look carefully at the picture above. This is a test. Can you tell which part of my gloves wore out first?
Photo credit: FC's Momma!
This is how I wore out the finger tips in my old gloves. I'm sifting soil in that pic. Mom had placed landscaping pebbles around the pond edge and over the years, gravity had pulled them down into the soil. As they gradually sank, more rocks were added.
The result is that while you almost never hit a rock while digging in Florida, this location is saturated with egg-sized rocks that would love to dent or puncture the new pond shell when it goes in.
So I shoveled and sifted, shoveled and sifted.
Dad's old compost sifter came in handy for this. Each shovel of dirt went through the sifter which allowed me to separate the rocks from the soil.
At the end of the day, I had two big piles of stock-piled rock and rich black dirt stored nearby.
Here's one half of the treasure I found, a marble from about a foot down in the soil, so I'm fairly sure it's one from my childhood. I was pretty marble crazy for a short while at Crookshank Elementary School ... around 4th or 5th grade as I recall.
I found one other later.
I guess those marbles had lain there for about 40 years.
Eleven year old me could never imagine fifty-one year old me finding a pair of dropped marbles and getting excited over it ... but we did.
At the end of the afternoon, the work site looked like this.
Next weekend, we'll install the new 125 gallon pond, a waterfall, and some new (and old) rocks.
This year we get to celebrate 3 Mom's as the lovely Annette has joined our family.
The Queen Mother has requested my BBQ chicken for lunch on the big day which thrills me to no end, as it gives me an unquestionable excuse to buy a brand new smoker grill, since my old one has bit the dust finally.
Don't you just love Mother's Day?