"Many long years ago," the story begins. The house was built by people who wanted nothing but the best. Not my style, exactly. Not my style at all. We bought it, though, because it really is a great house and, eventually, the heavy velvet drapes with the lace panels beneath wore out... and I have lived with the stone-encrusted bathroom counter tops so long I don't even notice them.
The house sits below a (very) small hill. It is a horizontal house and it seems to me that, if in the beginning, they could have designed a semi-circular drive down the hill past the house and then up the hill, again, to a road hardly ever travelled, life would be a lot easier for my aging friends who come to see me. But I'm no engineer and the property is narrower at the top than down in the back So. We have a driveway that is a pain for guests and, in winter, unmanageable.
We always drove down into the garage, and backed up to the street. When I was in my prime, I could almost do it with my eyes closed. Others, less familiar with the terrain have come close to tipping over. "Come close" is the worst that ever happened. Thank the good Lord.
It is these difficult Ohio winters that have, truly, caused the problem. Adhering to the principle of "nothing but the best, the original drive was concrete. By the time it became ours, the concrete was cracking up. We had taken on as much as we could handle to buy the house. Concrete was too much of an investment.
We went with blacktopping. Blacktopping, blacktopping year after year after year, because the %^&#&* concrete base kept cracking up beneath the blacktop.
The black-toppers are here today. They have applied one coat and an asphalt patch, and will be back this afternoon for coat two.
At this terrible time when the Gulf beaches are covered with tar, it is ironic that I am needing more tar.
The world is so full of problems. Norah's neck or Sarah's bladder or Phyllis' driveway seem ridiculous to even mention. But I cannot help thinking about it, imprisoned as I will be for 72 hours.