Tuesday, May 30, 2017

getting the dirt on the street

I was jarred from my sleep yesterday morning by the sounds of large vehicles.

My sleep patterns have been a bit off since I returned from Oregon -- mainly because of the relative change in heat. I have not completed my walking regimen until around 11 PM or so when I return for my supper. My bedroom does not usually cool down below 80 degrees until around 1 or 2 in the morning.

So, I sleep in. Or I try. Unless it sounds as if the storming of Utah beach is being re-enacted just outside my front gate.

From the upstairs terrazzo, I could see my "early" morning nemesis. A dump truck spreading piles of dirt on the street where I live. And a grader doing its best to even out the dirt like lard frosting on a cheap birthday cake.

You can see the result in the photograph. It may not look like much to you, but it is the very essence of modern road-building to me.

During the almost three years I have lived in the house with no name, the street has been a work in progress. As you can see, it is merely a path cut on the local sand and dirt. During the summer, when it rains, my little street becomes the path of a stream (awash in the day). I suspect it once was just that. A stream bed.

The rains of 2015 washed away most of the dirt foundation on the opposite side of the street. For two years, there has been a noticeable gully where pedestrians and bicyclists regularly suffer mishaps.

No more. As of yesterday morning, the road is in as good condition as I have ever seen it. I suspect one of my neighbors must have some pull with our local government representative.

But life is filled with little ironies. Whoever decided to do the work this month must have a wicked sense of humor. In a month or so, our summer rains will set in. And all of the hard work done yesterday will be a memory. The water that runs down my street flows with enough force that the fill material will soon be forming the equivalent of a Nile delta far from the house.

And we will all be driving over the resulting cliff for another two years.

That is not a complaint. It is just one of the realities of living in my section of the barrio.

Paved streets would seem to be the answer. But I am not certain of that. Channeling that much water over bricks will simply increase its force. And probably redirect the flow into homes as opposed to the people's street.

So, I am grateful, for a few brief shining moments when I will have a nice smooth street from which I can launch my walking forays.

We find joy where we can.

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