What a week! Last Monday was Labor Day, and we sure labored! We’d rented a small Bobcat over the long three-day weekend, and wanted to make the best use of it clearing a driveway for our new homestead. Our friend Steve volunteered to go out with us. His experience with construction equipment was a welcome help.
A few of the children went along, and the day was spent tearing up palmettos and clearing the driveway. The building site is about 1500 feet (almost .3 miles or ½ Kilometer) off the road, and the driveway winds along the path of least resistance between trees and gopher tortoise burrows.
There is a cross fence halfway back, so we started clearing there, working our way to the back. If you’ve ever tried to remove palmettos, you know what “stubborn” means. Their roots hang on fiercely, the heavy trunks don’t want to budge, and razor sharp points along the palm fronds can do serious injury if you’re not equipped with leather gloves.
Steve mostly operated the Bobcat, ripping and tearing at the clumps of palmettos, while our oldest daughter and I reached in and lugged loosened trunks out of the way. Silver Oak was either taking his turn in the Bobcat, using his chainsaw to remove small trees or large tree branches, or installing fence posts to open up the cross fence.
Near the end of the very taxing day, we finally broke through to the already cleared area in the back, with much rejoicing. Then we returned to the cross fence area and starting working our way forward till it got too dark.
After an almost sleepless night (home and to bed late, two sick children, and itchy chigger bites!), Silver Oak and I returned early Tuesday morning to finish the job. I started out exhausted. It was hot and muggy, and the sweat rolled as I tugged at those endless palmettos. A morning rain shower made everything heavier and messier.
The palmettos often sprayed me with dirt as I wrestled them free, and since I was wet with sweat and rain, it stuck all over me. Horrible! It was miserable! I wanted to cry. What had I gotten myself into?
Then I remembered our dream. God has answered prayers that seemed impossible. His hand is in this. It is worth a little misery to reach that dream, and finish what God has given us to do. When I felt I couldn’t pick up another palmetto, I would reach down, grab hold, and somehow manage to heave it to the right place. Even in the misery of those moments, I felt God blessing and giving strength for the task.
Around 3:30 the driveway was completely cleared! What an amazing accomplishment! We spent a few more hours clearing the area for our shelter (“The Castle”), and then we were DONE for the day!