There’s this weird thing called money, and this other weird thing called a recession.
Added together, they equal The Six-Year Driveway.
What do I mean by The Six-Year Driveway? Six years is how long it has taken my husband and me to actually complete our 4,200 square-foot driveway.
My dreams of boys shooting hoops or riding skateboards or learning to ride bikes have yet to be realized.
Would my children rather play Nintendo? Would they rather play Dungeons and Dragons? Would they rather sing and dance in musical theater?
O.K. Maybe so.
But I’ll just blame it on the driveway. It is the driveway’s fault that my kids never learned to ride bikes. It’s our driveway’s fault they never learned to “shoot hoops” I believe that is the correct terminology. They never learned driveway hockey. They never learned to be proficient at skateboarding, scootering, rip-sticking, roller-blading, roller-skating, or doing anything with wheels.
Six years ago, we were completing the drainage and septic system for our house and our yard. It was just to disturbing to watch water bubbling up in the garden surrounding the old septic tank each time we flushed the toilet.
During the septic project, we removed part of the old asphalt driveway. My bright idea was to remove the rest of the asphalt and replace it with base rock to get it ready for the brand-new Paver Driveway I was going to install.
Then I priced a new Paver Driveway.
OMG, a 4,200 square-foot driveway is not cheap. It turned out to be way too expensive, around $19,000 just for the paver bricks.
If you figured the installation plus other materials, it totaled $9-$13 per square ft. Where was I going to get $50,000?
I had no sick or dying relatives, at least none that liked me.
My mind turned back to the chunks of discarded asphalt. I was wondering if I could put it back together, like a mosaic—only in shades of black—or a giant black jigsaw puzzle.
I’m good with puzzles. I could figure out how it all had fit together and then I could sort of fill in the cracks with gravel. Better yet, I could fill the cracks with dirt and grass seeds. It could become a sort of green garden art quilt. A black quilt with “green” stitching, if you will. I finally gave up on the demented quilt idea and accepted the fact that I no longer had a driveway.
But I still had the dream of: A Driveway.
In the days after The Old Driveway was removed, I came to realize how much I missed walking around outside barefoot. Yup, tip toeing across base rock isn’t quite the same.
A couple of years ago I was skimming through Craigslist (one of my many, let's say, frugal personal habits).
Lo and behold, in the “Farm and Garden” section was an ad for approximately 3800 square feet of tumbled quarry stone pavers—exactly the ones I was looking for. The gentleman selling the pavers wanted about $1 per square foot. Yahoo. My husband hired a truck to haul them (they were already wrapped and on pallets). We found out later that the actual quantity was close to 4200 square feet—the exact size of our driveway.
We had them shipped to our house.
And that is where they sat for two years, until we saved enough money to finally put them in.
I can finally run barefoot over my Six-Year Driveway.