A few weeks ago I noticed signs of construction along the path I take for my walks in the morning. Since then there have been more trucks - excavators and dump trucks. There have been piles of gravel and piles of big rocks, tons of dirt moved around, and even a generator running. I wondered if they were widening the stream bed, or if they were shoring up some of the cliffs eroding away. It seems I was right.
This morning as I was walking by the construction site, one of the men was near the path and he nodded to me with a "nice day for a walk". I asked him what they were working on and he told me. They are lining the stream bed with rocks and turning the cliffs into slopes, in preparation for flood season.
When it rains hard and fast, the park down the street from my house is designed to be a flood retaining system. The big grassy field with slopes popular with sledders becomes a lake, only allowing through what water can pass through a 3 foot diameter pipe into the stream bed, which is full of reeds and cattails. The place where they are working is a good way down the stream from there, but the water current there has gotten strong enough to cause the cliffs - which are threatening the mobile homes at the top. So that is what they are trying to fix.
And now I know.
As I started on my way again, the man told me, "Have a nice walk, lady." Why is it that being called "my lady" sounds courtly and a bit overbearing, "ma'am" is respectful, but simply "lady" just sounds awkward?