Between a Rock and a Hard Place

My husband called me a “weenie.”

I was helping him dig holes for nine new bushes in our front yard when my shovel hit a rock.  I jabbed the tip of the trowel to see if I could perforate the soil around the circumference of the rock.

The trees we were planting were just a few feet from an old orchard rock wall that was also our property line.

“What if we are digging on top of another rock wall,” I wondered out loud as my husband John snatched my shovel and started digging to prove that I was indeed a “weenie.”

John had already measured and spaced out the white pines and plum maple trees and this was our last hole to dig.  We had reached the point of no return on the project.

I grabbed another shovel and joined him in the digging.  We dug and dug until we determined the top dimension of the rock.  The next obstacle was seeing how deep the rock went into the ground.  So we dug some more.

As we dug, I thought about things I’d rather be doing like eating ice cream and lying down.

While we took a break from the rainy day, our son decided to do a dance on the rock like a go-go dancer.  Even our dog Rocco who enjoys digging for chipmunks and ground hogs pawed around the rock.

I got on my knees and used my glove covered hands to see if I could pull the rock up.  But there was more dirt to remove.

By the end of the day we had three shovels wedged on one side of the rock to see if we could push it out of the hole.  The rock wouldn’t budge.

“This is ridiculous.  It’s Sunday.  Let’s throw a pizza in the oven and watch a movie,” I suggested, walking away and leaving my husband in the rain, scratching his head on what to do with the rock.

This is the second house we have remodeled.  Two sets of kitchens, bathrooms, floors, windows and much of the work done by my husband.  We are at the end of the second remodel and this rock is rubbing me the wrong way.  I am the hard place next to the rock.  I want to tell my husband to return the trees and leave the nine holes on the ground alone.  Who cares if you can see them from space, like big man-made craters?

The next day my husband called me from work, “I think I know what to do about the rock!”

He was excited and I realized he had been thinking about the rock and strategizing its removal since the day before.

That night we stood by the rock again, our son and dog watching from the sidelines.  John dug a second hole beside the rock and then created a pulley system with a board wedged under the rock.  I put my weight on the board to hoist it while John rolled the rock into the second hole.  We planted the tree and then covered the rock with dirt in its new, permanent home.

My husband proclaimed as he wiped his hands, “You just gotta be smarter than the rock sometimes!”

The trees are planted and I am glad they are not empty, muddy craters. But we didn’t need a rock to sidetrack us on our home improvement pursuits.  The rock was more than a delay or inconvenience; it was a mocking, mean spirited attack on my mental well-being.  It was an unnecessary hassle.  Do I like the new trees that will buffer us from neighbors?  Of course, but maybe I am a weenie. This weenie doesn’t want to confront a rock or hard place anytime soon.

One thought on “Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  1. Good story, Brenda. Families should spend more time today doing these sorts of projects, builds stamina, bonds
    and makes you strong. Think of the family who built the wall behind you. Nice solution, John.

    Liked by 1 person

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