Wednesday, March 24, 2010

At the Corner of Lime Rock and Greystone

As we drew and questioned and met with Bob Segalla, we started to nail down basic things, like the house dimension and placement, so we could begin the excavation and foundation work in advance of the house set. Our house was scheduled to be delivered January 15th, so we had to get going on the earthwork before mother nature stopped us cold. Phone calls were placed, bids were gathered, and one guy was 20% cheaper than the others. Suspicious as I was, I hired him. Best decision I've made. It turns out, he had the proper equipment for the job.

So on a fine fall day, I heard a rumbling, and peered out my window: the yellow beasts began to arrive.

Immediately, they jumped on to the septic system, which, due to ledge and perking considerations, had to be sited about 1000' away in a field. The other bidders had planned to build a road down to the septic site. My earth mover had a huge off-road dump truck that could just ride through the field and get the job done. This amounted to enormous savings. As the job wore on, I realized he and his guys were like musicians with their equipment - such a feathery touch with those big hunks of steel. Pure athletes.
On another fine fall day, a soft-spoken man with an easy smile showed up with a truckload of dynamite. He brought a giant drilling machine, and methodically bore a grid of holes in the earth, set his charges, had the machine operator drop a blasting mat, and we all stood behind the pick-up truck and waited for the boom. You felt it more than you heard it, and I never got used to it as I concentrated on my furniture work in the adjacent workshop. It started to stress me out, yet I knew nothing was wrong and I found I had to just tell myself to chill out. Once there was a really big blast that seemed out of the ordinary, and the next day I found a big white rock about 50 yards away, confirming my suspicion. That said, we blasted safely within 3 feet of my 1956 barn and I've found no cracks or other signs of damage there.
The rock, which was plentiful, was beautiful. Some was very white, a type of limestone. which explains my address: 126 Lime Rock Road. Some was a gray color, very hard, and I was told it was called Stockbridge Marble. And now I know that the name of the development lane that runs beside our property was only partly atmospheric: I live at the corner of Lime Rock and Greystone.
Lastly, some of the stone was too beautiful to bury....

so I had the backhoe operator load up the 8 best ones, and now we have our own private Stonehenge.

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