Friday, May 8, 2009


Luckily, Little Helper Dude showed up at a decent hour on Wed., and got to spreading that gravel, which he had to haul, one bobcat bucket at a time, way from the other end of the driveway. Hmmm, if they couldn't get the dump truck back to the pad area, how on earth are they going to get the tank back there? One of the pipe guys showed up at about the same time, so I was back to feeling hopeful.

A couple of hours later, Pad Guy comes by to check on things. He tells me that one load of gravel just wasn't going to cut it, but he should be back with another by 12:30 or so. "If Tank Guy shows up before then, you should just tell him," he began, but I interrupted, saying "Woah. Hold on! I'm fixing to leave for a very important meeting, so here's Tank Guys phone number. You guys work it out." Aren't you proud of the way I handled that? Me too!

So, I head off to that "important meeting" (more on that later) and when I get back, I see my huge tank sitting on a huge trailer being pulled by a huge truck with a crane, and it's parked just off the highway, down near the entrance to our neighborhood. Pad Guy has indeed spread another layer of gravel, which unfortunately, has brought the level way up above the new retaining wall. Great. And now, the fun begins. (I later discovered that when Pad Guy saw what was about to happen, he told his guys "Hurry and pack up. We're clearin' out. I don't want to be here if this turns into a disaster!")

The fellow I call Tank Guy is not Richard, the owner. We haven't seen hide nor hair of him since he gave us his bid and said "Sure, that spot you've picked out is perfect. No problem!" No, the real Tank Guy is Joe, and in my humble opinion, he's a god, a miracle worker, a Rock Star! Let me tell you why.

First of all, Joe was somehow able to transfer this huge tank from the huge trailer, over to a tiny one that was hooked up to his pick up truck. He then managed to bump it across two low water crossings, and make the two sharp turns into and up our driveway, without losing it. Towards the end of the lower driveway fork he paused, made the Hail Mary sign of the cross on his chest, then gunned his truck for all it was worth, in order to make it up a last steep incline and around a hairpin curve, tires spinning all the way. The truck made it all the way around, but the trailer did not, so they then used the crane to tilt, nudge and jockey it around the stone flower bed on one side, and an oak tree on the other (why they didn't lift the whole tank up with the crane and swing it into place, I really don't know. I'm sure there was a reason.) Once it was directly behind the truck again, it took at least an hour to back it between said oak tree and a cinderblock wall, onto the pad. I don't know how they did it, I really can't describe it, and I could hardly bear to watch it. Just believe me when I tell you, the man is an artist, and I'm so glad it's over and done with. Had the tank got away from him at any point, it would have gone careening down the hill, bounced over some trees, gone over a cliff, and landed in the bottom of the creek.

Of course, there's still the "Eliminator" tank to be placed, filters and pumps to be hooked up, etc. And, oh yeah, Helper Dude called last night to say he'd be happy to bring that retaining wall level up to the top of the pad if I wanted, for another $400. Guess that's about it, except maybe to pray for some more rain, to fill this ugly sucker up! Yeah, I know, it's not exactly the beautiful stone cistern with galvanized roof that I always dreamed of. In the end, practicality won out. But I figure, the longer this drought lasts, and the more wells that go dry, the prettier it's going to look to me!

P.S. I apologize for the fact that most of these final stage photos were taken through a window screen, but if you've ever seen a horror film on the big screen, and then again on a tiny TV screen, you will understand why I eventually felt the need to put this buffer between me and what was going on outside.


lexlane said...

That's one big-ass tank. For some reason I thought it would be smaller than that!

Hill Country Hippie said...

No kidding! Had to make sure it would hold enough water to last from rain to rain, which could be months.

d.a. said...

Hooray, success!

musingegret said...

Oh.My.Gosh! I totally second your daughter's opinion; it's huge. I would have been climbing the walls and emitting nervous squeals while watching every foot of the journey. Way too much stress! LOL Anyway, am so glad it's in and situated and that Tank Guy is truly competent. Now let's start meditating on some good solid drenching downpours!

Hill Country Hippie said...

I WAS climbing the walls! In fact, I was on the phone to John when I saw Joe make the sign of the cross and gun the motor. I started yelling "Ohmygod! Ohmygod! He's not gonna make it! He's not gonna make it!" Just about gave poor hubby a heart attack. That's why I eventually had to retreat inside the house, and just peek out through the window ever so often. It was just way too intense for me!

And yeah, meditation would be good, but a rain dance would be even better!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh! My! Gawd! If you didn't take pictures I'd have sworn you were making it up. I would have required large quantities of drugs to watch all of that happen on my property! YOU are the rock star!