© 2012 Aaron Atkinson

Grandpa Bunyan

A few years ago, my parents extended their backyard deck. I helped Dad build it. The first step was to dig post holes below the frost-line. We used a mechanical drill to get us started and we finished the job with a manual hole digger. It took the two of us the better part of four hours to dig the eight holes.

Once we were finished we were covered in sweat and caked in dirt. Our muscles ached.

Sitting on the step of the existing deck, Dad got that far away look in his eye and started talking about Grandpa. Apparently Grandpa had once build a fence. Just like with our deck, he had to drill holes below the frost-line. Alone and armed only with a manual post hole digger, Grandpa drilled one hundred post holes in a single day’s work.

Achy and exhausted I pondered how he could possibly have done this. Exceptional strength, better work ethic, higher tolerance for pain, better tools and the help of his ox Babe all came to mind but were quickly discounted. Only one option made sense.

Grandpa was clearly dealing with much, much softer soil.

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