Remember that goal we made, the one where we wanted to get it all cleaned up over by the shop by the end of 2013? Well, it didn't exactly happen by that deadline; however, we are still plugging away at it.
A couple of weeks ago now (yes, I'm still catching up; this should be the last of it, though I've been itching to write a post just about Ratty, because Ratty has fans) Tara decided we should attack that area, or part of that area anyway. So we went after the spot where not too long ago there had been several old Volkswagens in a little fenced-off space. I guess you could say that it was the last fragment of my father's car hoard, in that area anyway. There are still other cars, but they've mostly been moved around or rearranged, even if they haven't left the property yet. Also there are a few indoors, in, say, the downstairs garage. But this bit here had some kind of weight to it in my mind; maybe just because it was old Volkswagens, or because it was visible, or because it represents the last of the outdoor junkyard car-hoard.
The two Bugs that had been there earlier, true, had not actually left the property, instead being squirreled away in the (upstairs) garage while Tara considers if they're worth restoring. Hint: they're not, though Tara may hold out some hope. She did take a good long look at them the other day, and while I'm not exactly sure what she concluded, there was a lot of head-shaking involved.
But anyway. Things (by which I mean junk cars) have been moving out of that area for a while now; we didn't really get a proper 'before' when the cars were moved into the garage, so this one from almost two years ago now will have to do:
So since that picture was taken, the light blue and dark red Bugs have been moved into the garage, and the orangey-red Bug has been cut into pieces. The only thing left of that is the chassis, which Tara for some reason thinks has decent floor pans or something; well, we'll skip my opinion of that because I'm sure you can all guess. Also since that picture was taken, that crappy picket fence has gone, and the arbor vitaes which were only planted there as a screen to hide the junk behind them have been cut down. The stumps will need to be dug out at some point, of course. So when we started the other day this is what was still there:
The tarp-covered thing is what's left of the chassis; the rest are some non-metal bits and bobs that are notoriously tricky to get rid of in this town as they aren't recyclable materials and so have to be thrown away in town bags, which means cutting things up into little pieces which is frankly a needless pain in the ass; but what you can't see is that that area has not been raked.
You'd think that wouldn't be a big deal, would you? Ah yes, but you have to understand--my father didn't just save old cars. He saved all kinds of crap. And he didn't keep things separate. He piled all the stuff together in a jumble.
And sure enough, when we started raking up the old leaves and the layers of dirt created by years and years of those old decayed leaves there was metal a-plenty, several bins full; in one place I think he must have had (yet another) gallon can of large bolts because I just kept finding them. But we persisted (despite the occasional poison ivy root) and I think we got it all. Here's the after, though it's a little deceptive because we just moved the chassis out of the way and didn't actually remove it from the property:
Here's another before, from a different angle; you can see the arbor vitaes have been cut:
And another after, from a slightly wider view:
So that's very nice, and probably the first time that patch of ground has seen daylight in decades.
But there was other progress.
The other day driving home from the supermarket I saw a cardboard sign nailed to a telephone pole that said CLEAN FILL WANTED with a telephone number. When I got home I called, and though the guy said he was really looking for dirt, he said he'd consider taking away some of that concrete rubble I've been trying to get rid of since forever. And sure enough the next day he swung by and got some.
He was out there for the better part of an hour, chucking bits of concrete into the back of his pickup truck while I did some gardening, but I swear it didn't look like all that much went. Here are some befores and afters of the pile around that poor lilac bush by the shed. Before:
And after; he only got a couple from this side, apparently.
He took a lot more from this side, though the 'after' still doesn't look all that different:
I do know and appreciate that every bit is progress, but holy crap he took a (large) pickup truck load and it barely looks like any went away at all.
He also spent some time over by that half a cord of concrete blocks over by the shop that nobody wants, but he only grabbed a couple bricks it looked like:
See? Doesn't look like much went there either.
The guy had said he'd take the blocks, too, not just the rubble, and said he'd be back sometime later; but a few days went by and I didn't see him or hear from him. I figured he wasn't really all that interested after all.
But then Tara noticed this:
I don't know when he came back. I'd been keeping sort of half an eye out for the guy but must have missed him. But there they were, or rather, there they weren't, and wow am I glad to be rid of those damned things. And even if that guy--bless him--doesn't end up coming back for the rest, I now understand there are people who'll happily take them away for me.
So, little by little it is coming along.
Also, with all that stuff we (literally) dug up, it'll be time for a metal run soon, probably later this week.
Yes, there is still more. But of course!