Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Thanksgiving Present

Actually, a Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday, anniversary present, all in one.  It's a  . . .
Our old driveway had this . . . . special . . . little curve towards the bottom that we could never quite manage to stay on if we had 2 cars in the driveway.  Consequently we ran off onto the grass regularly, leading to lots of mud and weeds on that side.  Eventually we put some paving stones down in an attempt to cut down on the mud, but after so many years of driving over them, they sank down into the mud.
You can't really tell from this picture, but the top right side was basically falling away, such that there was a good 6 inches to get up into the garage . . . not that we've been able to fit a car into either side of the garage for years!  Ha!  For the record, when we first moved here in 2004, we were able to fit the Sienna into the left side of the garage for a few years, and the old Odyssey in the right side (turned at a weird angle so that the driver had to exit the sliding door, though) during the winter if we took out all the bikes.  But then, more kids . . . less interest in moving all bikes, etc. in and out for different seasons . . . eventually no more cars fit into the garage ever.  Oh well.

A couple years ago (5 maybe?), a bunch of other people in the neighborhood had their driveways redone, so Bob and I started considering doing that ourselves.  With all our gestational diabetes-induced marches around the neighborhood, we had plenty of opportunities to observe exactly how every single driveway in our neighborhood was situated.  (Feel free to ask--we can describe all the widenings, extra parking pads, etc.  It's been a fascinating topic of conversation for years for Bob and me!)

Two years ago we got as far as calling a few places,  and even discussing the project with our next-door neighbor on the right.  He took our recommendation, called the guys, and his driveway was done a few weeks later.  It looked great!  This strengthened our resolve to get a new driveway, but it did not increase our pace.  Eventually in March 2015 we called and the guy came out and gave us an estimate.  Time passed, we kept complaining about our old driveway (to add to its charms, it dipped a bit in places, which collected water and froze into black ice over the winter, so there was always a danger of slipping and flailing around that was entertainment for the neighbors, I'm sure), but Bob and I couldn't really come to an agreement on how we wanted our driveway to be shaped, so nothing changed.

But then--2 weeks ago, the repaving place was having a sale, and so we reopened the discussion, complete with hoses to mark out possible lines in the grass.  During one of these discussions, our other next-door neighbor came out.  After a few words with him, Bob and I both agreed on how we wanted it done, he called the place, they had a cancellation for last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and BOOM!  We were finally, 2 years later, about to get a new driveway!  Well, you can't say it wasn't well-anticipated, lol.
The guys came at 7:30 AM, made quick work of the old driveway (bye, Felicia), cut out the new shape, leveled off the area with dirt and whatnot, and then poured the new one.  They were finished by 12:30, while we were at iFly!
To say I am happy with the new driveway would be a vast understatement.  I am THRILLED!  I LOVE the new driveway!  Best present ever!  Do instead of going from the edges of the garage doors, it now goes from the edges of the house.  That might not seem like a huge difference, but it's a good 3 feet, and it now seems SO spacious!
And here's what we ended up doing to get rid of that nasty curve.  Several other neighbors had gotten a little sliver of asphalt next to the concrete pad, but those are all breaking off now, so we thought it would stand a better chance of lasting if it was a thicker piece.Plus, that means that when a big storm is forecast, we can fit all 4 cars onto the driveway out of the way of the snowplow, something we couldn't even dream of doing with the old one.  We could barely get 3 cars on there!
This was one of the main sticking points--what to do with our sidewalk.  We thought we might have to go all the way over the where it already had the line, but it turned out that the repaving guys just sawed through it and carted it off, so we could just have the driveway line be off the edge of the bricks.  Whew! 

So now you know what I've already gotten for Christmas!  I plan on enjoying my present the whole year through! 

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