Yesterday I had a guy out here to fix my driveway. Those of you who have been here will totally understand this concept! It was a holy (and holey) mess! It is a dirt and gravel driveway, or rather a double driveway. My house in at the back of the property and about the highest spot, and I live on a corner lot. So I have one driveway that comes right up to the bottom of a rather long staircase coming into the house. This driveway is very steep, and clearly it was not well engineered. In fact, it was probably not engineered at all. During a rain or a snow melt-off, the water runs all over the road and causes ruts. Some of the ruts were recently about eight inches deep. And they ran across the drive path, then down the drive path, then diagonally; the result was a very, very bumpy entrance to or exit from the house. I wish I had taken pictures, because unless you have experienced it, it is hard to explain in a comprehensible fashion.
There is another driveway, as I mentioned, and it isn't bad at all. It is much lower than the one I use most of the time, and closer to the front of the property or the corner of the two streets. It divides from the above mentioned just inside the property, and is more level, thus it doesn't get the deep ruts. But it is a bit of a hike from there to the house. Carrying several arm loads of groceries or a heavy box from the truck to the house would be awful. So obviously I want to use the upper driveway.
So anyway, I contracted a man to bring his road grader and smooth the road. He looked at it and just raised his eyebrows! He said that a lot of times, people put houses in in the rural areas like this and then just let the road (or driveway) be what it is. I almost wondered if it had been graded because on one side of the house, it is almost three feet higher at one "curb" than it is at the other "curb." It makes for an interesting entrance because you can look out the passenger window and you're looking down!
Well, Mr. L Started on the worst part of the driveway. I stood on the deck and watched a while, and I must admit that I understand why little boys ... and big boys, too ... love watching road graders. The man is an artist at his work. He moved rocks almost as big as half my pickup bed! He maneuvered the blade to cut trenches to channel the run off. He flattened and sculpted the edges of the path with amazing skill.
About an hour into it, he stopped. He got out and looked. Then he got back in and started the engine, dropped the blade to the earth, and cut the engine again. He had run into the gas line!!! When he dropped the blade, he was performing another skillful feat ... he dropped in on the incoming line to stop the gas flow!
We call the gas company who came out within the hour and got the line repaired. However, they left part of the line exposed. I've called again, and apparently their conversation with Mr. L wasn't clear. They thought he was going to cover it up and he thought vice versa. Since it sticks out into the runoff trench, something has to be done. Mr. L and the gas company will have to talk, I guess.
Meanwhile, the phone company was out a couple weeks ago and buried the phone cable from the road to my house. And they buried it right up the driveway! It is probably a foot under the top of the area that is almost three feet too high. Do the math ... Mr. L is going to grade that down!! Oops! Another ripped line!! So he is waiting to finish the job until after the line is relocated. I just now got a call from the man who will relocate the line, hopefully tomorrow.
I can hardly wait to have it finished. As Caroline or Gail can tell you, it is going to be a huge improvement. The side he did yesterday is wonderful!!!
Huh. Now I forgot the second thing.
While I'm thinking, I have to tell you what I just did. I ran some errands, including buying a new whistling teapot (Yay!), and new electric mixer (Yay!!), a home theater sound system (Yay!!!), and bought 500 pounds of salt for my water softener. The salt was loaded into my truck before I could finish paying for it with the use of a forklift. Then I came home and unloaded it by myself, and poured it all into the softener unit by myself!!! Yes, it was in ten bags of fifty pounds each, but realize that this old gal lifted every single bag to above waist level and emptied it. Ten times over! Not bad for an old chick, huh?? Damn, was I hot and sweaty when I got done!
And since I can't remember the other thing, here are a few pix to make up for it. :)
The sunflowers, like everything else, have been so abundant this year. Look at how numerous they are!
A closer shot.
Another close up.
And with the sky as a backdrop. This isn't a trick shot. They are so tall that when I got out to take this, I was looking wa-a-a-ay up, I'm guessing about 10 feet tall!
Look at this beautiful old tree, half alive, half dead, against the mountains.
OK, am I off the hook? Whew!
Life (like most things in nature) is beautiful!!!