Blog 22 The Best Way to Find the Clean Out

We spent 30 min. poking, prodding, and tearing apart the grass. We may have killed it. Maybe we can use this as incentive to reduce our grass footprint later.

Blog 22: Our plumbing backed up Sunday evening. It chose the weekend and at double pay, the plumber suggested we find and open the clean out trap and hold out for Monday.

So, my husband spent 10 minutes digging holes in our front lawn looking for the clean out trap. I came out to help. He weed wacked the grass and I crawled around peeling back long legs of grass looking for a black 4-inch plastic lid thing.

That didn’t last long. The crawling around on my hands and knees, not the search.

By now, my husband was digging up chunks of lawn, hitting roots, and occasionally putting the divots back. I found a broken pitchfork in our shed and started methodically stabbing the ground. Each place I asked him to dig, hid a big ol’ root. He informed me I wasn’t stabbing deep enough and I asked him if we should be putting the lumps of grass back as we searched.

It wasn’t fun.

20 minutes later, he left to look under the house to see if there were any clues. I thought, maybe we should try divining rods, but I immediately nixed that idea as silly. I kept stabbing through the grass skin and into the belly looking for a plastic thing. I didn’t know what I was doing.

My husband came back. He poked and prodded and dug up a few more chunks of grass. Suddenly he threw the shovel down, bent over, and picked up a stick.

“One stick,” he mumbled and turned around and marched over the to the tall pine tree looking for something. I saw him bend down and pick up another stick, throw it on the ground, then pick up another one. He pinched off a branch and walked back to the minefield.

“What are you doing?” I quizzed him.

“Let’s see. I hold them lightly and…” he held his arms up perpendicular to his body, a stick in each hand, straight in front of him.

“Oh, you’re divining! That’s weird, I thought about doing that when you went to look under the house, but then I second guessed myself.”

He looked straight ahead and walked with a serious demeaner in a line toward the front of the house. Four steps in, the sticks began to move and they crossed just in front of the pick fork I leaned against the planter wall.

He stopped and asked, “Was that me?”

“Do it again,” I told him.

He did it again and it mostly did the same thing, only not as strongly because he second guessed himself.

“Let me try,” I stuck out my arms asking for the sticks. He handed them over. I started in the same place he had.

“I’m going to close my eyes,” I announced. Okay, clear your mind, hold the sticks lightly. I relaxed my fingers. The sticks balanced delicately on my hand.

I began walking. I took three steps and felt movement in my left hand. I kept walking, I felt more movement and stopped. I opened my eyes and the sticks lay on my hands crossed exactly over the pitchfork tongs as it leaned against the wall. I stabbed my heal on the ground just like Gary from The Curse of Oak Island and said, “Dig here.”

I backed out of the way. My husband jammed the shovel into the ground, stomped on it to get it in good and deep, and then leaned into the handle. A lump of grass popped up along with a bubbling waterspout.

Blog 23 Divining Sticks
The Tools: a hoe (not me), one broken pitchfork, a shovel, two clowns (one was me), and two sticks found on the ground.

“That’s not good.”

“Holy shit that worked!”

“I might have broken a pipe.”

“Do you see any plastic?”

The rising water stopped and receded. My husband dug around a little more, moving grass, dirt, and water with the shovel. Out popped a 4-inch black plastic lid.

“You found it!”

“I can’t believe that worked.”

We spent 30 minutes digging holes all over the lawn and 2 minutes with divining rods (sticks) and digging.

So, if you need to find the clean out trap in an overgrown lawn or front yard, then grab the nearest two sticks with bends in them and do that divining thing. It works like a charm.

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