This is a life saver. Not the round kind that you throw in the water to a drowning person. Not the candy kind you eat. No, this is what is used to teach us hillbillies what level looks like. Frankly, it’s a hard lesson and one we don’t quite believe.
We’ve been using our line level a lot this week. You see we cling to the side of a mountain and haven’t seen a level spot very often. Around here things are either up or down. Over yonder is down and then up or up and then down. I’ve been carving terraces into our mountain for years now to make garden spaces but realistically, my terraces aren’t plumb level, nor would I want them to be since I need water and cold air to drain away.
This past week we’ve been laying out the line stakes for the final road grade up to the whey tank and house site as well as laying out the strings for foundations. To do this we’ve been taking a lot of level measurements. After getting a level we all set back and look at it. Someone says, “No way is that level!” So we recheck it – always a good idea – and “Yup! It’s level but it sure don’t look it!” After living our lives on a mountain I think our eyes must be tilted.
I’ve been teaching our kids to use the line level but they have their doubts even after an explanation of the physics. Our younger son Ben joked that someday we’ll have to go down to the valley to see what level really is. He’s dubious about the whole thing…
Without the line level we would have made our foundation about 25″ too low on the downhill side. After all, to our hill conditioned eyes that looked level. Good thing I have the sense not to trust my senses!
So the line level is a life saver. Otherwise we would end up with a house like Jack built and our peas would run across the table.