Friday, May 29, 2009

A Rocky Romance.....

"Years ago I had a house in Sussex, it was like Arcadia, with an old Victorian bridge, a pond and the Downs."
~Nicholas Roeg~

Monday I posted on my guy and it seems I stirred up a little wistfulness for romance. I also hinted that Handy Hubby had another surprise up his sleeve. Well, let me forewarn you that this tale puts romance on the rocks.

I tried to imagine what he could possibly have in store, after all, he had given me a flower, pressure washed our initials on a tree, and taken me on a picnic to the spot where we shared our first kiss. I just knew it had to top all that, after all my guy was on a roll. I very much anticipated the big reveal.

Tuesday morning dawned bright and early as we sat shoulder to shoulder on the front steps watching the world wake up. He told me to get ready we were going into town to do some shopping. This pushed me over the edge, who was this man and what happened to my real guy? My guy DOES. NOT. DO. SHOPPING. PERIOD! OK, let me clarify that, if there is a Bass Pro Shop or Tractor Supply or some boat or motorcycle place he will shop for eveah! We drove over to the west side of town where there is a huge garden outlet. My surprise was that we were going to finish a project he started almost fifteen years ago! THAT really did surprise me.

One day almost fifteen years ago I came home to find my guy standing knee deep in a huge hole he had dug next to a protruding boulder in our side yard. "What are you doing?" "I am going to make you a garden pond with fish and everything." "Do you know how to build a garden pond?" "No, I'll figure it out as I go along." "OK." Some kind of wired mesh stuff and bent rebar stuff and Redimix later we had ourselves a real honest to goodness cement pond! A pond that I might add seeped water. A coating of sealant gunk later and we had ourselves an honest to goodness cement pond that still seeped water.

The poor decrepit pond sat for years, a big hole in the ground filled up with leaves, a trip hazard for anyone who might happen upon it. One day the pond was scooped out and a new rubber liner was added along with a special sealant used around the edges and then we had ourselves an honest to goodness rubber lined cement pond that held water! Rocks were hauled from my grandmothers creek bed to use as stepping stones around the pond as well as to finish off the pond edges. They were stacked nearby ready for use. Pumps and a fountain were installed and gold fish came to live in the unfinished pond.
The poor pond sat in its unfinished state for a very long time. I gave up hope that it would ever be anything more than an eyesore until Tuesday. We purchased a pump, filter, concrete, and some nasty black stuff in a spray can that makes rocks stick together to make the water feature I had always dreamed of having. I was feeling thoroughly romanced at that moment. My guy was going to give the time and attention needed to complete a project that I gave up on because he knew it was something that would make me happy. There was a compromise involved, I had to agree to a fire pit in the middle of my seating area.
Euphoric, we floated home on dreams of grandeur of working side by side creating a tranquil oasis to retreat to as we relaxed beside the trickling water of our new totally finished water feature. What happened next was anything but tranquil and romance hit the rocks!
The first part of the project went pretty smooth as the first three stones were sealed in place on the top and face of the boulder. We played with the arrangement of the stones around the ponds edge in preparation for cementing them down and laid out the stepping stones. I am not sure they will stay as they are. We may have to get larger stones to extend over the pond edge more. These will extend some when moved forward and sealed in place but don't cover as much of the liner edge as I'd like them to.

We needed to build up a cap of stones on top of the boulder so we gathered several rocks from around the ridge. I would stand in front of the pond and direct the placement of the rocks. At one point frustration set in on both our parts when he accused me of giving bad directions for fitting the rocks in place and I retorted that his dumping method was not aesthetically pleasing!

(small arched foot bridge will go in this bare spot)

I wanted to use a particular rock and we just could not make it fit. Handy Hubby was standing up on the back side of the boulder and lifted the offending rock over his head to give it a toss. I saw where it was going to land and tried to warn him but he shushed me and said we were not using that stupid rock. He looked a little like King Kong about hurl something off the empire state building as he hoisted the rock over his head and released it. It slammed to the ground and we had ourselves and honest to goodness secondary water feature right next to our rubber lined cement pond.
He hit the water line running from our old well that feeds over to the pond area. Stunned we both stood there for a minute getting soaking wet when he flew into action running over to the well and turning off the water. Tension was eased as we collapsed in fits of laughter. I finished arranging the rocks on top and he sealed them. Soaking wet with black rock sticking gunk stuck all over us we called it quits on the project for the day.The water feature works beautifully, is aesthetically pleasing to my artist eye, and exactly as I hoped it would be. It looks like a fresh water spring trickling down the boulder. The edge rocks are still not cemented in place and the gravel is not spread between the stepping stones. Yesterday I hauled and arranged rocks for two planting areas.

(front row of rock I hauled to make a planting area)

Plants of the aquatic and land nature still need to be purchased and installed. The little foot bridge still needs to be built. Large potted ferns need to be placed to hide the mechanics. A fire pit still needs to be built. And the project remains largely unfinished. At the end of the day it is all OK.

My guy sheepishly came in later that evening after repairing the water line and handed me a rather large four leafed clover. With that little boy grin of his, he said, "I picked this for you. Here, put it in water. It means I am lucky to have you." It is still floating in an old jar on the kitchen window sill where it reminds me that I am the one who is lucky to have him, rocky romance and all.

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

13 comments:

Becky K. said...

Oh.my.goodness!

What a day and a sweet ending!

Mildred said...

This is especially cute to me. My brother and I call Nalley "the rock man!" He always loved to arrange rocks.
I love the way the water trickles down the boulder. What a serene setting. It will be a beautiful place to enjoy God's beauty.
You should press that 4 leaf clover to remember your day!!!

Lady Farmer said...

Oh Miss Sandy!
That was so "us"! Most of our own projects seem to go like that! But I still see the romance, perhaps the most thoughtful of all ~ time spend with each other, working towards a common goal.
Just yesterday I read of a couple married 81 years! (I can only hope to live that long, let alone be married that long!) Their secret to success ~ a little arguement every day! I think I will stick with being the best helpmeet to my guy and pray God's blessing on our marriage, however long!
Your pond is turning out splendidly! It makes my back ache thinking of hauling those rocks for the beds! And the little bridge sounds enchanting! What a beautiful little spot you are creating to share together.
Blessings!

LiLi M. said...

Love this perfect story! A lot of love and a lot of laughter what could a girl want more?! The pond and the water feature are looking great. Have a nice weekend!

Barbara H. said...

What a sweet story! Somehow most home improvement projects do have those...tense moments. Glad your romance rose above this rocky patch. :-D This will be great when it's all done.

Caroline said...

Sandy, how romantic! Rocky or not rocky!. The pond looks beautiful, a peaceful spot. Thank you for sharing. Your photos are always so beautiful.

Unreasonable Grace said...

too sweet!
:)

kim

Cindy Is Crafty said...

It will be lovely when it is all done. It has a pretty great start!

SharDon Exclusives said...

What a sweet romantic man. We are going through a four month trial and error process trying to find our leak so this post just made me laugh. How funny. My hubby is the most unromantic man I have ever met but he is so good to me & sweet to boot so I have no complaints, yet. Good luck getting your project completely done...Enjoy the process

Myrnie said...

What a great guy! The water feature looks beautiful, but the story is even better.

KathyB. said...

Yup, that is how my Hubby and I do our projects together.....isn't love grand? Rocky or smooth roads, true love endures with lots of work AND fun, and remembering how blessed we are to have each other.

Your pond is a lovely work in progress, and already appears to be a sanctuary.You two do well together.But that is not saying anything you don't already know and thank God for!

kathy said...

Such a cute story - and taken from "REAL " life --The great part is like most love stories --mine included -- there are highs and lows -- and like your ending the perfect part - is that they don't matter --because two hearts -are really in love -and have stood the test of time -- Such wisdom !!
thanks for sharing -- I do so adore not only your stories --but thwe way you have with words -- word pictures -have a blessed day -
Kathy - ga

The Feathered Nest said...

What a wonderful post Sandy!!!! I just love it!! Because is speaks of true marriage...caring, mistakes, and still loving one another inspite of our faults...beautiful. xxoo, Dawn

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