• May 2001- Grading for Mother’s Day

    by  • May 11, 2001 • Home Building, Our diary-the first five years

    This is a transcript of the diary I kept during the first years of our transition to the mountains. We had lived in Orange County, CA for the past 20 years and decided to check out property in Bass Lake, CA where we had vacationed for several years.

    May 2001
    On this trip our objective is to have the lot graded and have a couple loads of gravel, or mine tailings, spread over the driveway.  Madeline comes with us and we stay with Don & Marcie. 

    New redwood "Command Post' table

    New redwood "Command Post' table

    After some juggling of schedules, Dick comes Saturday morning early and started leveling out the area where the circle drive was. We also planned to fill in the drainage pond area.  Bit by bit he carved away with his bulldozer and meanwhile, Marcie and Madeline and I walked down to find the stream bed.  Madeline heard Willow Creek below and wanted to go down there.  So we did.  That was my first walk down there, very steep and slippery, but beautiful.  Saw some strange pink water lilies growing out of the stream. 

    After finding our way back Marcie and Maddi went up to her house and I pitched in to help my husband, Russ and Ed haul branches and firewood.  They were cutting the trees around the pond.

    That evening we had a BBQ with Ed & Mary, Russ & Avis and Don & Marcie at their house.  Soft chicken tacos and my husband’s special margaritas. 

    The gravel guy never showed up Saturday afternoon as scheduled but said he’d be there Sunday.  Dick, also, didn’t finish and grudgingly agreed to come back early Sun. morning.  He also gave us the choice of winterizing the lot or continuing to fill the pond.  We chose winterizing which builds up the outer edge so rains don’t erode it.  Our soil is hard clay with no rocks.  The lot looks nice, a little higher than we planned but that will give us a better view.  Dick leaves and Don & Marcie come down.  Don helped my husband dig out a drain pipe and Marcie and I went to Herb’s to get his divining rods!  She said we’d see if we had water up above where we planned to have the water tank.  With an open mind, I found that the rods do seem to move on their own.  Marcie was sure we had plenty of water. 

    Trimming the oaks to reveal the huge rock

    Trimming the oaks to reveal the huge rock

    The gravel guy came finally and we realized that we would have to rake out the gravel!  Don and Marcie borrowed rakes and helped us, thank goodness and it clouded up a bit.  Tired and sore we left for home… oh, but one more load of gravel left to be delivered Monday…..maybe.


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.