Saturday, March 22, 2014

Suspicious Previous Owners *Now With 50% More Tetanus!*

Remember, a few months ago, when I wrote about those trash bags in the corner of our backyard that I was just sure contained human remains, thoughtfully left behind by the previous owners of our house?  Remember how they weren't actually dead bodies (shocking!), but giant colonies of roly polies and leaves?

Well.  After reading that post, Derek informed me that he left those sacks there.  He filled them right after we moved in, put them in the corner, then forgot about them, leaving me the ever-important job of over-reacting and stressing about them for years.

After that, I felt a bit guilty about suspecting the previous owners of our house of murder/ negligent lawn care.  BUT NO MORE.

Over the past two days, I have spent hours digging metal out of our backyard.  There's a few square feet along a section of our back fence where grass has always refused to grow, and I had picked a few stray pieces of metal (large springs, a gate hinge, etc) up the first few times I mowed over it when we moved in.  A couple days ago, I finally decided to investigate just what the heck was up with that section of yard, and started digging.  It had plenty of pebbles and ash, so I assumed this is the area they used for burning before building the fire pit, but then I started finding nails and screws.  And didn't stop for TWO DAYS.

I don't know how many nails I ended up with, because I lost count sometime after 137.  I do know the sack I used to hold all the old, rusty screws and nails weighed at least a few pounds.

What does this mean?  What were they doing?  Did the previous owners of this house one day look out over the backyard and say to themselves, "You know what this yard needs?  MORE NAILS."

I do know the husband was a roofer.  Is there some sort of secret society amongst roofers, the Brotherhood of the Shingle, or something?  And do they happen to have ritual burnings of things that don't actually burn, like METAL?

The only thing I'm really sure of at this point is that there are more nails out there, because I had to have missed a few, and I may not even have excavated all the points that contain randomly buried bits of metal.

The one bright spot in this?  I now have a big mound of gorgeous black earth along the fence where I still don't trust our children to tread, so I have no choice but to plant some heirloom Ten Commandments gourds.  Gourds like iron, right?


  1. Note for Derek: Perfect Mother's Day gift this year would be a metal detector!

    1. Ha! She's paranoid enough as it is, can you imagine what that little tool would do for her??

  2. :-) We live in an old farm house. It was built in 1845. Every year more junk surfaces in the yard! Old tires, broken glass --it's amazing. And when we built the addition, they uncovered an old privy, and Rob excavated it, finding all kinds of cool old embossed glass bottles. No dead bodies though.

  3. Hey Kristy, I forgot to tell you, I piled a bunch of old metal after we moved in right there and forgot about it ;)

  4. i think the people who owned your house moved into our story city house and then moved somewhere else. i definitely found a bag full-to-the-brim with old prozac prescription canisters and cockroaches, and i also definitely almost stepped (barefooted) on a rusty, serrated saw blade sticking halfway up out of the ground.

    let's become tetanus besties. (testies? no?) it would involve some kind of blood-sisters ritual and then trying to pry open the each others' locked jaws. and if that's not a heyday, i don't know what is.

    testies for life! (which will span only a short while for obvious reasons, but let's make it count.)

    1. I would willing to be testies with you, but not testes. Just so we're clear.


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