Last year after we had recovered from the construction of our room additions and really began to enjoy them, we began to consider adding a garage to the back of the house.
Actually we began to discuss that possibility a few years after we moved into the house, but we had a driveway out front. In the days of smaller cars it led down to a basement garage. Before we moved in that garage became part of the basement, and the old driveway was filled in to provide parking in front. That parking was quite adequate for us during our one car for the family days.
There were times through our child development years when I wanted to put concrete all the way down the side yard from the fence to the street to cover the small hill that was generally a muddy mess during spring, summer and fall due to the foot and bicycle traffic generated by our own eight children and all their friends whose feet never hit the steps out front. Bill said no, but I thought it would be a great idea. I suggested we could paint it green and pretend it was grass.
When our children became teen drivers, I thought again about cement in the side yard. But instead we rented the empty lot beside us. As more of our kids and their friends got cars they usually parked in the empty lot and worked on their cars. Some people probably thought we were running a used car lot.
But our children grew up and moved out along with their cars, and the lot next door was sold. We had two cars by then, but both fit in the old driveway in front. Parking for family parties on the weekend was provided by the business down the street.
Besides the traffic that had used the hill now used the steps and insisted their kids do likewise. We actually had real grass on that hill.
But, at the same time the hill and the steps beside it seemed to be steeper, and the walk from the old driveway out front to the front door seemed to get longer, especially when our arms were full of packages.
It would be a lot simpler to drive right up to the front porch, or take groceries right in through the kitchen door. And it would be almost luxurious to drive into a covered garage when the weather is bad.
So we decided to build a garage.
It seemed simple enough. We would get bids from contractors, and they would take care of it.
Another tree would have to go, but it really wasn’t very healthy. Then there was the street light pole which proved to be a real challenge. But with a lot of persistence, cash, and help from our friends, the pole was finally moved.
The construction crew was scheduled to begin the first of April. All of the bulbs we planted more than a year ago began to bloom again the last of March. The daffodils and hyacinths were beautiful. The tulips were ready to bloom. I wasn’t worried about them. Last year construction was supposed to start May 1, but didn’t begin until June 1. I was sure the flowers would all be done before the first equipment would be unloaded in our yard. I was wrong. Spring came in March this year, and the contractors came in April.
The Bobcat came up the hill and made two narrow paths through the flowers. But, bless their hearts, the next day one of the guys drove the Bobcat to my flower bed and carefully lifted the blooming flowers with plenty of soil and placed them by the shed out back.
The daffodils, hyacinths and tulips all bloomed beautifully and safely in their new location, and now the irises are ready to bloom there. We’ll be able to replant them next fall beside the new driveway.
Of course with all the traffic up the hill it was a muddy mess again, but not for long. It’s now a concrete driveway. I don’t think we need to paint it green.
Author’s Note: This column was first published in the Greenville Daily Advocate May 5, 2004.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.