The original owner of our house built these walls. I hear he was very proud of his labors. Stone by massive stone he built the walls of our driveway and made yearly repairs to same.

We didn’t.

Over the past dozen or so years of our residence we have taken these walls for granted; cursing, but still turning a mostly blind eye to the chipmunk nation that has taken up residence in the walls. With their persistent burrowing, more and more of the sand and mortar holding the rocks in place have been dislodged and pushed out like we take out the trash. The resulting piles of sand reminded me of the sands in an hourglass, marking the time until no sand or mortar was left to hold the massive stones in place.

By last winter the gradual swelling of chipmunk breeding made the outer edges of the walls look like a swollen belly in mid-belch and I stopped parking in the driveway. This change in behavior, more than anything else, convinced DH there was something to be concerned about.

The driveway, like the walls, received just as much care as the walls did over the years. Frost heaves, common up here, split the asphalt surface showing it to be a thin coating instead of a proper layer. A simple recoating of tar or asphalt would not fix it. We needed to replace it.

It is a leap of faith to commence such a project when the economy is what it is, but we do have it in savings and waiting longer would make the expense *much* worse.

And it will look loverly when done..

I think one of the reasons DH is looking forward to the completion of this project is that it means the forsythia lining the street in front of our property will be ripped out. He hates forsythia with its pollen that coats both the ground and the emerging leaves because it drives his allergies haywire.

If I spent all my waking hours sneezing from it I might feel the same way. But since I don’t, I’ll miss the cheery yellow greeting me in the morning and as I come home at night while it is in bloom.

But I’ll enjoy being able to park in the driveway more than I’ll miss the forsythia.

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