Moving Dirt is a Tough Workout

Yardwork – From the other direction

In spite of what many people believe, just because you are retired and trying to live a simpler life doesn’t mean it is easy and that you are not outside busting your butt.

At least that seems to be the case in my retirement.  Instead of sitting inside on my ass all day, taking exotic trips here or there or sitting down at the local coffee house or general store solving the problems of the world I have gotten to do a lot more physical labor than I have in many, many years over the past 5-6 months.

This weekend we had two more loads of unscreened loam (dirt) delivered to the yard in addition to the four that had already been delivered. Now we don’t have a tractor or other labor saving device to move this dirt around (even though one of my neighbors did offer to loan me his, which I respectfully declined), which means I am getting to know Mr. Shovel, Mr. Wheelbarrow, Mr. Hoe and Mr. Steel Rake really well.

Yesterday afternoon and today, TheWife and I worked on one of those dump truck loads of dirt and got it all smoothed out and raked most of the boulders out of it. To say that it was more than a little physical labor would be an understatement! It was freaking work, just ask my back and arms!

The before picture, notice the gully
Dump truck load of loam
95% finished

Now to see where and how the loam compresses and where I will need to add some more dirt to even things out.

Part of this retirement gig has meant me/us doing lots and lots of physical labor. Which to be honest, I piss and moan about it while doing, but when I get a job, like smoothing out a pile of dirt done mostly by hand, I have a sense of accomplishment that I don’t have when I use a tractor, Bobcat or other heavy machinery.

You know something else this self-induced exercise program is actually good for me, but please tell my back and arms that – right now they wouldn’t agree and are saying a lot of “interesting” words of disagreement while I am writing this post.

Like:  “This guy is freakin nuts.” Who does the brain think does all this work, he sure as hell dosn’t.” “Give me a break, when was the last time you lifted anything a$$7*))”. That and a lot worse is what my body is saying to the guy in the control room.

I will be glad to get these dirt piles smoothed out, but I am willing to bet that we don’t get them all done before snow flies and that we will be finishing them up next spring, unless we really haul ass on them.  Which I don’t plan to do, 3-4 hours a day of shoveling dirt is enough for me right now – my back and arms are saying, he does have some smarts after all.

I do have a feeling that I will be in really good shape for shoveling snow this winter though, which is a good thing.

How about you, do you find you are using machinery more or less lately?

If you don’t use machinery why not?