Nate Removes the Front Walk for Extension of Future Patio Area

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. -Isaiah 30:21

This was one of my Dad’s favorite bible verses. When I was 16 he built my cousin a hope chest for his wedding and had me paint this verse inside the lid. Well, our front walk certainly didn’t lead people in the right direction. If you follow it from the front door you will end up in a stranger’s van. Remember Dale?


This is the walk before. Right next to it is where I have been dumping dirt for the patio. The ground is fairly sloped, so this will level it off. We need to expand the area through the front walk and in front of the bushes a bit. But first, we need to remove this walk. We did not intend on doing this yet, but this is the domino effect . . .


I ran out of concrete block I was using for my retaining wall by the garage. Nate suggested he could get more if he started breaking up the front walk. Hooray!! He got his sledge hammer, the maddox, and a shovel and started pounding away.


We noticed that when doing i manually, not only was it going to take forever and become back-breaking for Nate, but he was also unable to get large reusable chunks. The concrete just crumbled under the weight of the sledge hammer. Nate made a call to Ace Hardware (the closet hardware store) and found out he could rent an electric jackhammer for $60 for four hours. Yes, totally worth it!


Now, the jackhammer is really, really loud.


And heavy.


People could hear it for blocks.


Soon we see a red blazer pull up in front of the house. A man gets out determinedly and makes a bee-line to where Nate is working. My head is full of thoughts like, “Crap, it’s an angry neighbor!” “No, an angry neighbor called the city and this guy is about to deliver a formal complaint!”  “No, an angry neighbor called the city about the noise and the city discovered that we don’t have a permit to use a jackhammer! I didn’t know we needed a permit to use a jackhammer!!”

Instead this guys says. “Hey, I live a few blocks from here and heard the jackhammer. I do concrete work for a living and I wanted to see what you were doing.” Uh, okay. “I see you struggling with that jackhammer, let me give you a few pointers.”

He takes the tool from Nate and starts showing him how to work from the outer edge to create large chunks. And how you can use the jackhammer as a pry bar if you don’t go all the way through and lift up before moving onto your next section. And when you need to stop, insert the jackhammer into the ground vertically so you don’t use your energy trying to pick it up again. Sweet!



Before he left he said, “My name’s Bill. I live just over there and if you need anymore tools for this, I don’t have a dog or anything, you just go grab something from my truck.” What?? By the way, Dad, you were totally wrong about city people. Everyone we have met here is totally awesome. Thank you, Lord, what a blessing!


So after Bill left, Nate was just plowing through the walk.


I was collecting the chunks of concrete in the wheelbarrow for the retaining wall. Oh my, they were heavy. When Nate was finished, he returned the jackhammer to Ace and was very tired and “done” for the day. Good job, Baby. That was really hard work and served as a catalyst for the retaining wall project and the patio.


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