Water had gushed from around the fire hydrant for 3 days and was filling the yard. Two of my neighbors had stopped by to let me know that once the phone and power companies signed off, they would have to dig to the problem. Two Dot has a community well and we are all part of the water user group. It is all of our responsibility to take care of problems.
An excavator was rented and I met 3 of my neighbors in the yard at 8 this morning. I took a shovel to lean on and they had their laugh. If John and been here I would have stayed in the studio, but he is in Seattle and I felt it was important to at least witness their hard volunteer work. Banter ran as free as the water from the leak…. mostly self-deprecating, but occasionally they tossed friendly jabs at each other and a few times at me. The excavator brought out bucket after bucket of soupy clay dirt until the hole was more than 6 feet deep.
One of the guy’s grandsons was there to help. He wore the wrong shoes, but willingly did what was asked of him. His grandfather patiently but insistently taught him how to tie a figure 8 slipknot to secure the hydrant while they continued to dig. When an older son of one of the other neighbors stopped by while on break from haying, his father explained in detail how the hydrant had sunk and stressed the T connection breaking the line. There seems to be a respect for these young men and an understanding that knowledge must be pass to the next generation. That was also manifest in the running joke of the day…” make this a 21 year fix because after 20 years we will all be too old to go down in the hole with a shovel.” I risked my own joke when the oldest of us was in the hole and working too hard. “ If you are going to have a heart attack in that hole, better make it stick because I don’t think we can pull you out.” He laughed. We finished around 3 and even though I was of little help I felt a little more apart of the community.