We live in a sparsely populated area in Ontario, Canada, around 6 km from the nearest town, Simcoe, which has approximately 15,000 inhabitants. The advantage of such a rural, agricultural environment is that there’s no light pollution. So, on a nice summer evening last August, we were able to admire an amazing Perseid meteor shower.
And last Monday afternoon, we could see the partial solar eclipse in a slightly cloudy sky. In the evenings we sit around a campfire in our backyard, apart from when there’s a fire ban because of extreme drought. The sounds of singing frogs, crickets and cicadas can be heard throughout the night.
Meanwhile, the activities at the nursery are slowly progressing. And of course, everything seems to be happening at the same time. We’d known for a while that our 100-m long driveway needed to be resurfaced. Frost and rain had left their mark. We initially considered doing it ourselves, but in the end we felt it would be too big a job.
We’d noticed that lately, several businesses in our area had had their driveways improved using recycled asphalt. The company that specialised in this could start our project on Monday, when they began with levelling and filling. They put down the top layer on Wednesday and Thursday. It was ready to harden now.
That same Monday, we received a call from the greenhouse builder that we had contracted for our extension. He was wondering if he could come over to start the job? The ground had been levelled already. It didn’t take long to dig holes and put the poles in place. But the greenhouse builder couldn’t make use of our driveway during those days. We prepared a special route for him, from the neighbours’ driveway, along the prairie, ending through our backyard – he had to drive across our lawn for the last 300 metres.
Our supplier had already confirmed that all materials were there, but he hadn’t delivered them yet. When we contacted him, it turned out that the stubs hadn’t been galvanised yet. After a few phone calls back and forth, everything was sorted and the materials were delivered on Friday morning.
The concrete mixer was also scheduled for Friday. Our brand new asphalt was taken into use straight away. When we were enjoying a beer on the terrace that evening, we heard that concrete hardens best when it left, without any pressure, for 28 days. I guess that goes for asphalt, too. But who’s got time for that?
Angelle van Kleef,
Grower of potted plants, Ontario, Canada