Friday, December 31, 2010

Alfred E. Newman No More!


All I can say is thank goodness for Russell Totman and Son.

I have mentioned before that there is no easy way to pick up 1,000 rocks. Turns out I was wrong. The Town of Scituate had Mr. Totman return the stone and sand thrown up on Boxing Day to the beach that protects the Tower and the Lighthouse Park. He moved his 1,000 (1,000,000) rocks with three neat machines that could hoist in bulk and with precision. It was a tremendous operation to watch.



My role was to run a shovel and get to edges, especially near the house, that the machines could not get to. I also worked on rounding up the shingles caught in the sea roses. There is a full wheelbarrow in the driveway ready for a dump run. Late in the day I took shovel and broom to the flagpole bench and got that looking a little better. Not Fourth of July better, but New Year's Day better at least.

A year ago there was the first of the many storms that culminated with the Tower wrapped in stone for two months. This time around, the stone scattered more widely and the loss of the fences, shingles, and shed wall demonstrated the power of water is even greater than that of stone. Last year three blocks of granite had shifted toward the beach, opening up a path that funneled the stone around the Lighthouse. As I posted two days ago, this storm moved a block of granite roughly 15 feet, plucking it as cleanly as a kid loses his first tooth. Yesterday, the dentist arrived to cap the gap and to reset the others properly. The MAD magazine look is gone: hopefully gone for good.




Wednesday had been my day to clean out the shed. The top is before; the bottom after.





I discovered that there were several things broken but nothing prized. We fit a lot of stuff in there though and I look forward to having it put back in order soon.

So, bit by bit, ground was gained over the last two days that left the yard in the shape you see below. I washed windows today. I got the Christmas tree out and down to Mr. Lopes, and rehung one of the wreaths. The Christmas decorations have been packed and stored. I graded papers and will do a few more when I wrap up this post. This afternoon Julie and I did some work on the fence in the background, using pieces of the fence that snapped on the walkway side of the house. A wedding party caught the last great light of 2010 as we hammered and moved, all the while crossing our fingers against the next event.



I have been asked several times if this was a warning shot for me and if I have had enough. Not so fast I have answered. Where else could I get the sunrise shot you see below and minutes later notice that there is a refrigerator washed up on the beach. This place places the sublime next to the absurd every day. I am not going anywhere willingly.


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