Sunday, May 03, 2009

Reponding and Treasure Found!

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?


Florida Beach Basics said...

you're a good son, and I love the "sonbutt" - will use it on my son as necessary. marge

threecollie said...

Good son-liness going on there!
Isn't it cool to find childhood toys when puttering around in the dirt? I hang the little plastic critters I come across in my garden pond garden (which not so many years ago was the kiddie sand pile) from the bark of the honey locust tree....or from the bird feeders.
What memories they invoke.

Kittikity said...

I wonder if your mom has any pics of you playing in the dirt as a kid to compare to the one she took Friday..

Carol said...

Hummmm....I wonder if I could talk Jim into giving me a pond for Mother's Day...aprox 20' x 20' the woods...

Guess that will have to wait until we are done boating.

Great gift. Does she ever have any small animals come in? The waterfall is another good idea..very soothing. She will really enjoy it.

myamuhnative said...

Oh what I would give to be able to dig in the ground and not hit a rock!!!
When I first moved here to my pine rockland neighborhood I bought a handy digging bar, 6 feet long and 20 lbs.It lasted less than an hour.Now I just call Mr Johhny Posthole when I need holes dug-its the only way to go.
PS love the heron! Thought it stealing goldfish at first glance :)

Miz S said...

I'm so happy to hear that your dad is up and about! Just in time for summer, too.

Pablo said...

You're a great father and a great son. What have you ever failed at?

Those marbles are a sweet find, especially with their history. Sort of like little glass round rocks.

Thunder Dave said...

You can't fool me, you're still just kid looking for any excuse to play in the dirt! ;-)

Doug Taron said...

Your mom's a great photographer. The cool thing about marbles is that they endure. I have found them while digging around at my dad's place before. Like yours, they were in the ground for several decades before I rediscovered them.

Dani said...

I'm so happy to hear that your dad is up on his own two legs! That is absolutely wonderful!

robin andrea said...

Glad to read that your dad is doing well and up on his own two legs again.

It's going to be a beautiful big pond there for your mom. What a great Mother's Day gift.

TROLL Y2K said...

You're a good son. I'm assuming the old smoker will be receiving a suitable memorial service.

Just the Right Size said...

Such a good sonnny boy! Your mom is lucky to have such fine, strapping young(ish) sons available and willing...and to think you work for beans!

Good job and I'm jealous of the smoker! Hey, I hear pork is pretty cheap these days!. :-)

Anonymous said...

So you really did "lose your marbles"?

Floridacracker said...

I'm sure it will be effective.

Wish I could find my GI Joes.

Plenty of them probably!

20'x 20" sounds like my kind of pond.
Mom has had some wild visitors visit her pond. They seem to have taken her goldfish when they left!

I guess you are in the exception zone. I should have remembered the pine rocklands!

Miz S,
I got misty when he stood up on his crutches and walked. He's been doing that for a week or so, but it was my first time to see him up.

Plenty! But thank you for the kind words.
I love round rocks of all kinds.

Ya see right through me.

I think glass marbles are essentially eternal once buried in the soil.

His own two legs, a leg brace, two crutches, and a hovering family!

I think whe will really like the waterfall aspect.

Yes, I will take it out back and shoot it.
Hey, I got a new one yesterday.

Just Right,
Youngish ... heehee, I'll take it.
The new grill is waiting to be broken in!
And yes, I will work for beans!

And the funny thing is, I've misplaced them already!

Sharon said...

Great pic, FC Mom!! :) and lima beans for lunch...oh boy you're speakin' my language!!! No one else in this house likes them, but I can eat a whole pot on my own ;)