In mid-December, amidst the joys and busy-ness of the Advent season, a nice gentleman showed up at our door. Unfortunately, he was the J. County Solid Waste Division Field Inspector. Near the beginning of November, someone had called in a complaint about the state of our property. (Isn't the response time impressive??)
The short of the Inspector's visit was that we had some cleaning up to do.
Two major projects were our direct responsibility:
1) Cleanup of the pile of lumber that we brought over when we moved from our old house. Good lumber that the boys and Jonathan had been working on getting de-nailed and stacked neatly. The progress was slow, and the sprawl resulting from sorting through boards was unsightly.
Here the boys are working on de-nailing-
2) Cleanup and disposal of various appliances and such that Jonathan had taken out of folks' homes when doing installs of new stuff. We had several working appliances that we just hadn't gotten to their new homes yet, as well as plenty of "stuff" from work that needed to be cleaned up.
No, I don't have before pictures of this part. It was always an embarrassment to me, and I purposely avoided taking any pictures of the appliance mess.
Another major project didn't have anything to do with us or our friends/landlords, but needed to be taken care of anyway. The folks who had lived here before the Duchene's bought the house had indulged in the common rural habit of dumping old appliances, furniture, trash, tires, etc., in an "inconspicuous" place.
Inconspicuous? Not so much, if you walk around by the creek...
Jonathan getting started:
We had extremely cold weather here in December and January which followed a lot of rain. So the junk in the dump was solidly frozen into the mud. It was very tough work! At one point, Jonathan's dad pulled his van around and they tried using it with a tow strap to try and pull out one of the washing machines. The tow strap broke. Twice.
Nonetheless, there was a great deal that they managed to get out. Here are a couple shots a few days later of some of the stuff that was hauled out of the "dump":
We passed inspection and they closed the complaint against us, but as you can guess from the following picture, we'll be continuing to work on cleaning up the area. Hundreds of trash bags, the contents of which have long since disintegrated, were pulled to the surface of the dump as the guys pulled out the larger items. There are also some things that were still too frozen to move.
Come warmer weather, we plan to work more on getting this area cleaned up. It actually could be a lovely usable space.