Channeling my childhood engineer
Submitted by murph on 13 September 2008 - 12:32pm. houseone
When I was in elementary school, I was en route to a civil engineering career. I was the kid who spent rainy days digging little canal systems through the playground with sticks to drain the puddles underneath the swingsets and at the bottoms of the slides. (You'd think the other kids would thank me for this valuable service, but, alas, elementary school doesn't work that way.)
I'm always reminded of that on days like today, when we're getting hurricane-boosted steady rains after 2 months of dryness. I get to go around and check the perimeter - make sure all the downspouts are functioning and the rainbarrel overflows are connected, dig out the spots where the driveway swale has silted up, and watch as puddles drain away into the wildflower garden. (Someday I'll get to digging real french drains around the house and a rain garden in the low spot out back, but it always seems low priority in dry weather - and I'd have to find a new excuse for playing in the rain!)
By the time I finished on-site, I was far enough along with my drowned rat look that I thought I'd keep going. So I went down the block and shoveled out all the leaf-clogged storm drains. A little old lady, hair wrapped in a plastic scarf, stopped, rolled down her car window, and called, "Good citizen!" before continuing on her way.
Why, thank you, ma'am! As a reward, I think I'll go make myself some more coffee.