Saturday, May 19, 2007


As you know, many cubicle dwellers have a heightened appreciation for the outdoors, especially those of us who dwell hours a day in a basement cube lighted only by fluorescence. So, a few weeks ago, I had the urge to plant a vegetable garden in my yard. The weather still quite cool, lettuce seemed the appropriate start. I had decided to do the garden in rectangles separated by paths, rather than one big chunk. So, I got out the tiller and dug up a small rectangular plot and seeded it.

Two weeks later, it was time to turn on the pool pump. The GCFI switch in the basement tripped and would not be reset. We called in an electrician, who speculated that my little lettuce plot had probably damaged the underground wire to the pump. I don't think I tilled more than four inches down, so this seemed incredible to me. Once we dug up the yard to find the buried wire, however, it was clear that the spot I had chosen to till was not only directly above the wire, but directly above the one spot where the wire lie right beneath the earth's surface.

The electrician patched the spot. And then a big rain came and the switch tripped again. My brother, the ultimate handyman, decided that we shouldn't mess around trying to fix the damaged wire, but should dig a deeper trench and splice in a new one.

He came last weekend and we dug, put a new wire in conduit, put in a new and more stable switch at the pump site, and covered in the trench. The splice, however, he decided, should remain above ground, as burying it could be tricky. He spliced it, wrapped it in a glass jar, and then proceeded to Menard's, where he and my husband found the most fake fake rock I have ever seen!

Yeah, it looks like that glacier just left it here by the driveway. And that plastic sheen, that's just years of sun.

Well, I can't complain, the pump is now working, and I've found another area of the yard - way in the back - to till for beans, tomatoes, and peppers. Of course, our new neighbor, a fat groundhog, lives in that quadrant of the yard, so I'll have to find fencing to keep him out of the produce.

Yes, life is good.

No comments: