Saturday, June 07, 2008

Demolition and Archaeology

When the family came up for Family Weekend in late May, Mom and Dad decreed that we'd spend some time tearing out the old rotten deck in the back yard in preparation for doing more fun stuff to the yard in July. So bright and early (okay more like 9:30), out we went to do some demolition.

Or more appropriately, Dad did the demolition, and Mom and I watched and did what he told us to.

The tree had grown so much since the deck was built that it had grown around the deck, making it very difficult to get the deck out. Yet another reason, besides the poor construction and the fact that it was rotting, for us to get rid of it.

Look at all the stuff that was under there!

Raked up and all pretty.

Look! We even have a step!

Temporary arrangement, with bricks on the still in place supports, and six sidewalk blocks at the bottom for something to step out on.

And a rotted deck with various and sundry crap from underneath ready to head to the dump!

The archaeology of the day comes from what we found underneath the deck as we were raking. Here is a list:

  • Pine needles
  • Leaves
  • 2 bouncy balls
  • Tennis ball
  • Hackey sack
  • Work pencil
  • Ball point pen
  • Butter knife
  • Disposable cups and drink bottles
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic forks
  • Child's plastic clip-on earring
  • Plastic beads
  • Newspaper
  • Gold hair elastic
  • Rotten wood
  • Scrap drywall

So, what can these artifacts tell us about the previous residents of this house? Well, there was obviously a younger child living here once (beads, earring, bouncy balls), and the butter knife indicates some clumsy person like me (I would totally do the same thing). But the telling part is the rotten wood from the replaced boards of the deck and the scrap drywall. These things tell me that the people who replaced the boards and put that extra layer of drywall on most of the house were too lazy to take the scrap to the dump. And I'll admit it, that bothers me a little, especially since scrap drywall that's been sitting under the deck in the elements for at least three, if not more, years is hellishly hard to pick up. This lack of foresight just really bugged me. But the drywall and other nonsense is mostly gone, and soon we'll have a much better backyard to spend some time in.


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