Honeysuckle Air: The Day I Stood Up to the Backhoe

As homeowners we are often totally unprepared for challenges which can jump up to startle us when we least expect it.

My family lived at the end of a dead end street jutting into a forest. Although we’d heard of a possible county drainage canal to be built nearby, it was a rude shock one Saturday when I was in my back yard. I heard heavy equipment blazing its way through the forest beside our property.

Adrenalin kicked in but I knew no county offices would be open on the weekend. However, never hesitating, but with family members wondering if I had lost my mind, I rushed right up to see what was going on.

The big machine was scraping up to within a few inches of my fence! Now you don’t have to be an environmental scientist to know that would cause erosion of our fence line.

So I marched right in front of the dirt mover and refused to budge. Eventually the man gave up after shouting to tell me to move. He idled his motor and I walked right up to him. I told him of my concern about they were coming too close. He informed me that he had to do the job. I said I would sue the county as well as him personally, and call the news media out to record the happenings.

Finally he agreed to give me an hour, while he ate lunch, to make some phone calls. I called the county judge at home and stated my case. I had to talk fast, but he did listen and granted me some time. He had me relay a message for the driver to stop the heavy equipment till Monday when they could sort it out.

I’ve never thought of myself as an activist of any kind. My contribution to making a better world was usually done on a one-to-one basis with teaching and consulting. In fact, I’m actually kinda shy.

But that day it was about protecting my home, therefore I acted so decisively I shocked myself and my family and neighbors. It was just me against the backhoe.

By the way, I won.

To this day, there is still good solid soil by the fence and the drainage ditch was dug with no harm to our home! This scary adventure into activism renewed my faith that one person can make a difference.

So when you see a problem, it never hurts to try. You never know the difference you might make:-)

Copyright by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.


About grantutor

Career educator in both public and private schools. Has tutored all ages. Writes about education, parenting, & seniors. Sings harmony with folk/rock group and a choir. Caregiver for spouse who dealt with Stage IV cancer. Happy person committed to nature and conservation of a green world.
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