It’s never a good sign when there’s a steam shovel on your street.
It never leads to any good.
It’s not like they’re gonna dig a big hole in front of your house and pull out a chest full of gold.
It’s more likely they’re gonna dig a big hole in front of your house and find another big hole in your sewer pipe.
Or worse, that noisy neighbor who mysteriously disappeared back in the 70’s. along with his 8 track tapes.
Actually, I’m not even sure it’s even called a steam shovel any more.
But you know what I mean.
That big thing that looks like some sort of prehistoric monster, with the guy sitting inside working the controls, unless he’s in between holes, in which case the guy just sits there and reads the newspaper.
And I was right…it wasn’t a good sign, at all.
Before I knew it they were blocking off my street and digging up the pavement.
But I suppose it was overdue.
The chalk was starting to fade and the pot holes even had pot holes, now.
In fact they had already repaved the first half of the street about 2 years ago, but stopped just as they got to my house.
Never knew why and couldn’t get an answer, even when I interrupted the guy sitting in the steam shovel.
“Beats me,” he said. “I just does what I’m told.”
And it’s not like it’s a big street…in fact it’s not even a street at all…it’s only a “Place”…about 200 yards or so long.
That’s what it’s called…Place. Not Street, Avenue, Lane, Drive or my personal favorite Boulevard…just Place.
I live on a Place. I guess it doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Everyone has to be some place.
I guess it could be worse.
I guess they could call it “Thing”.
Or maybe just “There”.
“Where do you live?
“I live There….”
“Oh, I hear There is nice”.
“It is…it’s close to Thing”.
“Thing can get noisy, especially in the summer”.
“I used to live on It, but I couldn’t take the traffic”.
“Yeah, It is busy”.
So they’re finally repaving the rest of this Place…where I live.
No more feeble attempts at filling pot holes with some sort of gooey gravel, that pretty much just ends up on my sidewalk and lawn after 2 or 3 cars drive over it.
No more mystery thumps or screeching tires and breaks in the middle of the night, as cars drive across the irregular and hazardous surface, sometimes disappearing into a crevice until light.
So maybe it’s not so bad when a steam shovel shows up on your street, after all.
Once you get by all the heavy machinery noise, dust and boisterous hole digging songs; when you’re finally able to move your car out of your driveway, without scraping the muffler off the bottom of your car …you now have a road that drives as smooth as a silk scarf…or a sow’s purse…one or the other, not sure.
And if you're able to avoid a run in with the Steam Roller—a particular family tradition of ours…don't ask—then you're good to go..
Of course, now the other half of the road is all torn up again…but baby steps…baby steps.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Only their roads…..