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How I spent my day off

Click for larger imageI took a vacation day today to do some volunteer work for GPIP -- we were ripping out some 50 Yews on an embankment at the Center Village elderly housing complex. Today I was with my dad, another volunteer, and two guys from the Glastonbury Housing Authority. The Housing Authority (which runs Center Village) was providing people and trucks to cart away the Yews we were removing. I spent most of the day on the backhoe laying waste. :-)

We'll be back on Saturday with a small army of volunteers to replant the slope with shrubs and perennials. It will be a vast improvement over the three rows of "tuna can" shaped Yews. A planting ashacat referred to as "typewriter keys".
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The base of the slope meets the sidewalk, then there's a six foot wide strip of grass and the road. Center Village is in the center of town, so there is some pedestrian traffic. We brought a bunch of our big honkin' orange traffic cones (the three foot tall highway-sized cones), coned off the sidewalk on each end with three cones abreast, and dropped cones all along the street to carve out a safe work space -- here there be backhoe!

I am eternally amazed by the ability some people possess to ignore things that are clearly put there for their safety. There was the woman walking along with her toddler who just trooped right on up the sidewalk as I was yanking stumps out. Then there was another woman pushing a stroller who, when confronted with the cones, didn't cross the street to the nice, safe, shady sidewalk on the other side, but instead swung her little progeny out into the road and decided to roll along with the cars. Back, of course, to traffic. There were office folks who blundered on through as well. I did see at least one pair of office ladies come up the side walk to where we were wrecking havoc, assess the scene, and sashay calmly to the other side. They had the look of battle-hardened executive assistants. Smart women.

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