A Few Big Rocks

| 7/24/2013 2:34:00 PM

Tags: hand tools, simplicity, Bethann Weick, New Hampshire,

rock stoopYou may recall my previously mentioning, as a small aside, the stump that served as our doorstep. It was functional, most of the time, and quaint in its simplicity. The stump, however, was far from suggesting permanence and solidity. It was only meant as a placeholder, anyhow.

Years before, in creating the first garden space and erecting a homemade compost bin, Ryan had uncovered the front step to the 1800s-era Jessaman homestead. Located by the eastern side of the old cellar hole, above the deep, rich ground that has become our growing garden, is The Rock. Large, flat, and square, it suggests ‘Welcome’ without a word. From that first discovery, Ryan had earmarked this remarkable piece of granite to become the front stoop to our cabin.

The process started late this spring. Nearing the end of a weekend work day which had us clearing brush and pulling weeds, Ryan began moving two sizeable rocks located a few steps from the cabin. Rectangular and solid, they made an ideal step. Ryan, with a decade of trail building experience, had the rocks quarried, moved, and set before I could offer a hand.

With those in place, the stump had been swapped out. But the dirt at the base of these rocks liked to collect water when it rained, and was dusty in the sun. We both knew what belonged in that space.

As spring turned to summer, we became the proud owners of a single taper rock bar – our small, old, rusty relic of a bar had been found in the ground by chance, and while useful to roll logs or move small rocks, a stone such as the one before us needed a full-size, proper tool to budge it. So just a couple weeks ago we were ready to go. With much sweating and straining, Ryan and I pried the rock from its hole: it was even larger than we expected!  Using logs, we skidded it uphill, around the rhubarb, then down by the apple tree, alongside the sunflowers, and past the potatoes. Inch by inch, we neared the cabin. The arrival of two friends speeded us to the finish line.

Our long-awaited frontispiece had arrived.

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