Started digging out for the basement last Thursday.  Like everybody else, we were pressing our excavator, DIGS Inc, to get it done before the big rains came on Saturday. I have a lot of appreciation for Mark, the operations manager, who has to deal with all these annoying contractors like me wanting it done yesterday.

We had one ace in the hole to make sure they put enough man power on it to get it done by the weekend:  Because it’s such a tight city infill lot, they had two large pieces of equipment stuck behind large piles of dirt.  With the rain forecasted on Saturday that turned the ground to mush, they would have had two machines trapped for a good while.

It reminded me of one my favorite children’s books, which for the life of me, I can’t remember the title.  It’s about this backhoe that digs out a really deep foundation for a large building and it works its way down far below the earth such that it is stuck underground forever and has to live in the basement of the building.  It always resonated with me as I remember even as a child feeling both uplifted by the backhoe sacrificing for the apparent greater good and feeling melancholy that it would be stuck forever.  My other favorite book was Swimmy, which was about a blacksheep fish that was never really able to fit in with his community until he realized his apparent oddity was actually an asset, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, we got it all dug out by the end of Friday.  We hit awesome black dirt that went down a good foot that we carefully scraped into its own pile that will make great garden material when it is all said and done.  Able to get seed and straw down and cover the building foot print with 6 mil plastic such that when we formed up the footers today, we weren’t slogging away in the muck.