I’m a strange person so I might as well admit that before someone else points it out. While it’s normal to have a love-hate relationship with a person, I’ve inadvertently fallen into a love-hate relationship with my house – especially my driveway.
Most people hardly think about their driveway unless it’s time to shovel the dreaded snow. I tend to shovel snow from my back door into a small path around my car. Other than that, I have a four-wheel drive vehicle that can take a lot.
But my love-hate relationship started almost 30 years ago when I bought my quaint little house in Defiance. Shortly after moving in October, the first heavy rain made me realize that the original contractor who poured the concrete on the narrow driveway alongside the house wasn’t doing it right. Although I had other problems with the house, I soon hated this driveway.
For me it would make sense if the driveway was inclined away from the house. This ride – version 1.0 – not only leaned towards the house, but at some point a previous owner noticed that rainwater was seeping into the basement. As a quick fix, someone decided to pour a three to four inch curb to block out the water.
After moving in I decided that there was still a problem with it. For far too many years I’ve caulked the cracks to save money before pouring a new driveway to keep the moisture out. Band aid fixes work for a while, but hey … at some point I had to accept reality and do the right thing.
After an aunt died, she left me some money. As the reasonable person I am, I didn’t have the money fun and went on a memorable vacation or indulged in something the hell.
No, instead I hired someone to tear out that old driveway, waterproof the basement wall, put in tiles and stone, and redesign the driveway. I was very specific and persistent in what I wanted. The contractor, knowing the problems with the driveway, was warned that if the driveway did not fall off the house it would be ripped out and done properly.
Fortunately, the ride was poured exactly as I requested. So began the “love part” of my relationship with Yards and Yards Concrete, Driveway 2.0.
Over the years the driveway has been the site of many flea markets. Hundreds of customers and the curious have traversed this drive looking for lots of bargains and curios.
The COVID-19 pandemic came in 2020. As a supporter of science, I knew how important it is to distance yourself socially and to completely limit entry into other households – those who were not part of my “germination bowl”.
In April my birthday rolled around and I knew my usual celebration was not on the cards. I used to hang out with a dozen of my closest friends and we partied in a Mexican restaurant with margaritas. This time I was informed that a friend would drop by to give my birthday present. A quick phone call called me into the driveway.
Before I knew it, there were about half a dozen friends piled into their cars and attending a “drive-by birthday party” for me. Horns and screams accompanied gifts and cards falling through car windows.
In the past few months, lots of friends and neighbors have stopped by the driveway for socially distant chats, with me sitting on the front steps.
Of course, the best chats are usually when someone brings gifts to share, especially “adult drinks” for two. Yes, I officially love my driveway now.