In 2011, I had soaring dreams of installing a heated driveway "next year." Next year turned into eight years, and in the meantime the one salesman I spoke to about heated driveways told me flat out it isn't cold enough in Missouri to merit one. (Given that we've used our snowblower three times in the last five years, I think that man was right.)
This year, we had soaring dreams of driveways, sidewalks, and back porches, and then we talked to the construction company, and they said, "EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS." I don't remember what I said after that. I imagine it was profane. We kept talking to them, whittling down our needs until finally it was just "Driveway." "FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS" they said, and I said,"It's not like our current driveway is broken," and eventually they said "FORTY-FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS." I don't know if they shouted it as the ALL CAPS would suggest, it's just that the shock of the large numbers made me woozy and I picture them yelling to get past the brain fog.
It was totally worth that amount. The removal crew came in and beat up the old driveway with a jackhammer-equipped Bobcat, and then swapped out the jackhammer for a scoop and delicately scooped around my landscaping and sprinklers and dumped the old chunks into a truck.
The next day the installation team arrived with a cement mixer that they artfully maneuvered around my new mailbox and overgrown tree. The installation team all spoke to each other pleasantly, there was no bickering. The best part was that when each of them had a momentary break they would spend it standing and looking at my driveway. They liked how it looked, and they liked what they were doing.
The cleanup team comes today. It will be a week before we can put a car on our new driveway, so the cars are parked on the street and the front door is getting a lot of use.
We now have the prettiest driveway on the street. Sadly, I was out of the house when a neighbor lady came by and spoke with Gary about how nice it looked. She offered to let us park in her driveway, too. Gary, to his credit, kept the conversation going, even though he had come to the front door expecting to see me, and he was utterly naked from the waist down. He just cracked the door open far enough for his t-shirted torso to lean out in a neighborly way.
Of course, he refused the neighbor's offer to let us use part of their driveway, but I'd really like to take her up on that offer. I just don't know if I can talk to her without telling her that Gary was naked when they spoke. Can I? I don't think I can.