Thursday, May 14, 2015

Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made

Confession time - several years ago, I participated in something immoral. We were living on an Army Post in these four unit homes - two units upstairs, two down. The third floor had old servant's quarters, one per apartment with a shared back stairway.

They were beautiful homes. We loved the fireplace and woodwork (which had unfortunately been painted). The only drawback, outside of living so close to others, was that there wasn't a piece of carpeting in the whole building. When you live on top of someone with only hardwood floors, you end up being able to hear everything from the apartment beneath you. They could hear us as well.
Our three children were young, the apartment was long, and the hallway made for a great runway.

Our downstairs neighbors bought carpet for all of their bedrooms, hallway, and living room which helped absorb a little bit of the noise problem. We really couldn't afford to buy carpet (the neighbor outranked my husband a bit). So, when an acquaintance was telling me that she and her husband's home was in foreclosure and they were gutting it, I joked, "you don't have any carpet you're looking to get rid of, do you?" And low and behold she said, "Sure, come on over, take what you want!"

It's terrible, I know. Does it make it more palatable if I say it was stained and would have needed to be replaced anyway?


That's what I thought.

Needless to say, I have asked for forgiveness and repented of that sin.

I also take full responsibility for the consequences. It has become clear to me that God has a tremendous sense of humor.

Fast forward six years to us moving back to our home state and finding a perfect ranch home on seven acres of land. It was exactly a year ago that we bought it. When we toured the house and property, it was evident that it had gotten away from the previous couple who owned it. Where beautiful landscaping once was, tall weeds and invasive plant species were taking over.

 Before                                                                        After

 I think they had a bit of a hoarding problem as well. For just the two of them, the house was busting at the seams with...stuff. I asked that they remove most of the excess but when it came time to do the walk through, we knew there was no way they'd get it all out in one day.

We closed on the house a couple weeks before we could move so I began the very large project of cleaning and painting. I also started trying to get the overgrown lawn and property under control.

I started finding very strange things in the first section I was working on in the backyard.


There was a long strip of carpet going from the back door to the outdoor wood furnace. We figured he had put that there to cover the snow/ice/mud. Weird but no problem, we'd roll it up and throw it away.

But what on earth possesses someone to literally carpet their back yard?

I removed all of the ground from on top of the carpet, cutting the carpet into manageable strips, rolling it up, and bringing it to the end of the driveway when the neighbor came by. He stopped to chat so I asked him what all this carpet was about. "Oh yeah, he didn't want to mow his back yard so he threw down some carpet to keep the weeds back."

Well that plan failed miserably. I have wound up many many carpet strings in my weed eater.

There was carpet everywhere. Even the kitchen was carpeted. There were carpet pieces on top of the carpet in the living room and family rooms.

If the carpet along the fence, under the woodpile, along the back of the garage, around the propane tank, and in the storage shed wasn't strange enough, we found out that in an attempt to tile the back yard and keep the water flowing, he devised an even more bizarre plan. He buried two layers of plastic pallets covered in carpet three feet under the ground extending a 50 foot long and 10 foot wide strip of the backyard that butts up next to our steep ridge.

We found this when we set out to dig our garden. We could only go down so far with the shovel until we hit something impenetrable.

We did actually find one single piece of drain tile.

All told, we have disposed of a minimum of 10,000 square feet of carpet. There is still some more under the ground that will be covered by the chicken coop RLB is building. He's convinced me to stop digging.

I'm not a huge fan of the concept of karma. I'm even more not a fan of anything that could be construed as the evidence of it. Especially when it means countless hours of manual labor to rid that evidence.

I was a trooper about dealing with the consequence of my covetous desire for carpet. I did what I could to not think strange things about the person who placed all of this carpet there. Instead I took my lumps and just kept digging.

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