July 18, 2010

Digging Holes

Yesterday I finally got to work putting in my new mailbox. I have been putting it off for three or four weeks. It was damn hot, tiring work. Of course I started around noon, the hottest time of the day.

I keep forgetting I am no longer 25. Work that was easy in my youth just drains me now. The hard Indiana clay about did me in. I lifted and slammed those post hole diggers until my arms ached and I could barely lift the torturous tool. Lift and slam the blades down into the earth. Turn a half turn and repeat. After about ten lift/slams I scooped out maybe a half inch of clay soil. One half hour of work got me a six inch hole, and my shirt and short soaked in sweat. By then my legs, back, shoulders and arms were quivering.

I got the boy out of bed.

When we were finally done, the mailbox set and screwed onto the post, we were cleaning up the tools. As I hefted the post hole diggers the boy said "Put those somewhere we will never find them again".

My plans for trimming bushes and mowing the lawn were cancelled due to exhaustion. I took a shower and a nap. the boy showered and went off with his friends, seemingly tired but a few minutes. The wife went off last evening to the wedding of a co-worker. I watched an old Errol Flynn movie and then smoked a cigar out on the deck as the sun sank in the distant West.

I am still tired and sore this morning. This loss of power and strength is the hardest part of growing older. I used to be strong. I could work all day. I could move and lift. It is clear I have to start exercising more. It sucks to get old.


Anonymous said...

Go to work with me everyday for a few weeks and it'll come back to ya, or you'll die. I'm not sure which.

I'll build a fella a brick mailbox tomorrow.


And looking at my prior comment? Man, did I misread that entire post or what?

Fred said...

Ha! The boy is funny too.

...And, yeah. It DO suck getting old.

Cappy said...

I hear ya. Definitely on the road to full condo mode here.

Galt-in-Da-Box said...

This is why they invented garden hoses: You unreel the end out to wherever you're going to put the post, cut the water on a trickle, and let it go a couple hours to soak the clay & soften up the beach-heads before the main, Ph.D (post hole digger) assault.
I'm 44 and have to do this fucking shit for a living. Trust me!

Anonymous said...

I paid a kid down the block $40.00 to set mine, probably save as least that much in pain medicine.

James Old Guy

Ed Bonderenka said...

Home Depot: Power Auger. Priceless.

mts1 said...

Ed beat me top the punch. Auger is the only way to go for Indiana clay. Even it is a pain in the butt to hold up while the bit refuses to go deeper and you have to wait it out, or pull it up to clean the hole all the time, but if you have one with hand holds for two men, it'll be more of a cinch.

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