Saturday, June 23, 2018

I Travel for Gravel

240 pounds later
The gravel apron in front of the Divine Cabin over the years has been scraped and washed away and grass grows there now hiding ticks and chiggers that bite me, and for four years we have asked the landlord for fresh gravel, because the road needs some too, but it never came. In despair I phoned the gravel mine and they'd deliver a cubic yard for $215, $75 of that delivery charge, and dump-truck the gravel in a pile as tall as I and I'd have to hire someone with a spreader or spend years spreading it shovelful by shovelful, alone.

So every summer more bugs bit me and I didn't even have to go into the woods but simply step outside. Mowing helped, but now I haven't a mower and have asked the landlord to supply one as the lease requires. They don't want to. Phoning mowing professionals got me estimates I felt ashamed I could not pay.

It occurred to me, in my misery, to buy and spread my own gravel and choke off the grass, solving at once the chigger and the mowing and the apron problem, and went to Home Depot, a 30-mile round trip, because they would load my car for me, and bought 8 bags of 30 lbs. each for a total of $31. I thought it was named "Viagra stone" (a dirty mind is a perennial resource). Said nothing of this to the teenager dragging the 240-lb. cart out to my car and loading it, as I could not. As an employee he may not take a tip. But I said, "You're not taking it; I'm giving it," and dropped money in his apron pocket.
Doesn't it look like Viagra stone?

With my own labor I could buy five more such loads before hitting $215. Hefting each bag I dropped them at strategic intervals on the apron, slit the bags, dumped and raked a while and was pleased as heck with my result but there was much more apron to cover.

Now I had big plans. About to return to Home Depot to reload I thought to try the nearby Walmart. An elderly employee said to go to the checkout if I wanted their bags of gravel, but the garden area checkout, at 8 p.m., was closed, and the young employee said he did not work in this section and could not cashier, so I just went home.

I thought it would amuse me to shop at every gravel-selling retail around here and score them on how well I was served. My work on the apron is satisfying as a long-lasting solution to a frustrating, expensive problem.

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