Who knew that I would become one with dirt? For a while, I swear that I was channeling a dirt farmer from 1930's Oklahoma.
I raked up all the straw and hired someone else to come in and re-grade the yard. Water continued to accumulate and there were still little holes around the yard. I also discovered that the guys who originally "graded" the lawn had used rocky subsoil to replace my earthworm rich topsoil. When I called the original "grader" back to discuss the problems, he came back long enough to scream at me in my own back yard, telling me that I disgusted him. His exact words.
I walked back and forth up and down the yard pulling up emerging rocks. Admittedly it became my obsession. There was something fun about getting all muddy and dirty and something satisfying about doing back-breaking outdoor work in early summer heat. I ate huge farmer breakfasts after a few hours of dirt work in the morning. When I would finally quit in the evening, there was nothing left to do but put my feet up.