As I was digging deep into Google to put together the “Real Dan Pearce” post, I found not just one, but two past blogs that I once started, wrote a few entries, and then for some reason stopped. Funny thing is, I had completely forgotten that either one of them ever existed. So, this week I thought I’d share some of those blog posts with you (some have been slightly edited).
The Sand Pile
Had an awesome adventure this week. We’ll start with a picture. Should save me a thousand words…
So, my wife and I pulled the old warped trampoline out of the ground, and decided to make the kids a sandbox in the hole left behind. Should have been simple. Pull out the trampoline, fill the hole with sand, insert children. Done.
Step one: Pull out trampoline. Simple enough. Until I saw what was UNDER the trampoline. 9 years of garbage. Old toys, bottles candy wrappers, leaves, pine needles, spiders, and a little hobo which apparently had been living there for the last 9 months.
Step two: fill the hole with sand. I called the nearest sand place and gave them the dimmensions. 13 feet across by 18 inches deep. I hear her clacking the calculator buttons and she boldly and confidently states, “you need 14 tons of sand”. I cough a little because that sounds like a LOT of sand to me, and tell her exactly that. More calculator buttons, and “nope, should be about right”. I decide not to micro-manage, and since I have no idea how much sand weighs, I go along with it.
The next day the dump truck arrives. And it ain’t no baby dumper. 12-wheeler, big sucker with all the bells and whistles. As he pulls up, I see the load of sand over the top of the truck, almost completley filling it. I say to the driver, “that looks like an AWFUL lot of sand, sir.” He says boldly, “let me see your hole”. After realizing what he really meant by that, I took him back to the trampoline hole which was getting smaller and smaller in my mind. “Should be about right,” he says. So, I say okay, I must be having a hard time seeing the true volume picture.
Next part was *kind of* my fault. I tell him to back up to the hole because heaven knows I don’t want to wheelbarrow 14 tons of sand through my backyard. He tells me that it *will* leave deep ruts in the grass. I feel like he’s exagerating, so I say just go ahead. 20 feet in, I ask him to stop because, turns out he was right. That truck was digging a hole to China. He then, so boldly and so confidently, tells me that it’ll be all right, with a few rains those rivets will come right back up. The part of my brain that DID NOT WANT to wheel 56,000 wheelbarrow loads through my backyard believed him and let him finish backing through my yard.
He gets to the hole, which by this time I have forgotten about because I’m sprawled across my lawn weeping over my loss, and he starts to dump. “We can’t do a little bit at a time,” says he, “because the sand is wet and it all comes out in one giant dump.” I start biting my fingernails, hoping he’s right. Hoping beyond hoping that I just plain ol’ suck at visualizing space and volume (I’m an artist and a photographer, what was I thinking?). The truck starts beeping, going faster and faster with my heart rate, and…. PHLOOOMP!
Good news is, it was definitely enough to fill up the 18″ hole. The mili-second later, when that was full, and the rest of the pile phloomped all the way up to my chin, I think I heard the flutter of a butterfly’s wings. Everything zoomed out and the world stopped for a moment. Then, a single tear dropped from my eye as I realized that even worse than wheelbarrowing it all in, I’d have to wheelbarrow it all out, but with nowhere to wheelbarrow it to.
The driver’s response… “Sorry about that”. “Well, can you guys do something about it?” says I. “No,” says he. And he got into his truck, happy as a clam, his load so much lighter. I stood motionless for over three hours, afraid to move and afraid to speak. What the !&%*# was I supposed to do with this sand pile?
Well, turns out a lot of people will take sand if you offer it for free. I put up an ad on the free online classifieds that said, “Free Sand Box Sand. I want it gone by tomorrow morning.”
By afternoon the next day, I had received 57 calls (not an exageration), and the pile was GONE, and my kids had their sandbox. Wow, I never knew sand was so in demand.
Step three: Insert children. That was easy.