Little by little, when I get blocks of time, I’ve been digging up the grass from around my plants lining the deck. I can get into a rhythm of angling the shovel into the earth in a way that only the top layer of dirt, where the grass and roots cling, comes loose. On hands and knees with spade and cultivator I dig up the rest of the roots and comb out the soil. The workload is heaviest when I’m maneuvering the wheelbarrow full of grass, dirt, roots and rock around to the backyard and into the space between garage and fence. Of course I’ve dumped the whole load once already, wouldn’t expect anything less from myself, but I just shoveled it all back in the barrel and finished my task.
I’ve dug up three marbles over a couple of days and a span of about six feet. As mentioned in this post I had the lawn in my backyard ripped out; there wasn’t anything left but dirt and rocks, lots of rocks. The guy I hired brought in a backhoe and whatever else is needed to strip the yard of weeds and grass, level the land and re-seed again. So, I was surprised when I dug up the first marble. I wondered if Joe, the landscaper, had inadvertently dropped it out of his pocket. The next time I was out there digging up another stretch of ground I pulled out two more marbles. I wondered how they got there, who they belonged to, why they hadn’t surfaced when the ground was barren. Every year rocks seem to bubble up to the surface where the year before there were none so I suppose the same can happen with marbles.
I bought the house, with my ex-husband, from the grown son and daughter of the man who had lived there until he’d passed away. The ‘kids’ were easily in their sixties. When we met they told us stories of growing up in the house, how their father had baby-proofed everything going as far as taking down the leaded doors between the living room and sunroom to avoid an accidental crash and never putting them back up (one of the first things we did when the house was ours). By the time I discovered the third marble I envisioned those two as young children pitching those small round balls from the sidewalk at the back of the house into the yard. I wonder if they looked for these runaways when they finished their game or if they had so many that they never missed the red, light blue or red and white swirled one. I’ll never know but it was fun thinking about it. In the meantime I’ll keep digging and hauling the grass away in preparation for the mulch I’ll be putting down.
Here’s some shots of the progress I’ve made.