We were very fortunate when we bought this house, it required very little in the way of remodeling. She does have a few scars which show her age (we call that “character”), but all in all, she is an elegant and well preserved old home. The same couldn’t be said about the driveway. For about a year and a half, we rolled over, stepped in, and tripped on our resplendent “original” driveway with all its “character” filled potholes and cracks. It was clear we needed to replace the old driveway. The driveway is the kind with a ribbon down the middle that is characteristic of old homes- either because the old cars would form “ruts” without a driveway, or because the ribbon would catch the oil of the older cars. You decide why it was there, almost every house on our street has one. To preserve the look of the original driveway, we decided to keep the ribbon. Our old neighbor from our last home just happened to do concrete work, so we called up Sergio to help us with the driveway. He and his crew installed our new and improved driveway and left room for the ribbon in the middle. Countless neighbors would walk by and ask, “So, what are you going to do with the ribbon.” Here’s where Alex and I had to get our hands dirty. It’s about a 50 foot strip about 1.5 feet wide that traditionally would hold grass. Unfortunately, we don’t have any irrigation there, and California has a draught situation at the moment, so turf was out of the question. We opted to go with a synthetic grass strip around the exterior (about 6 inches on each side) and river rock down the center. Design in hand, we headed to the home improvement store to purchase the supplies. Oh, the engineering that went into this…. 150 feet of pressure treated redwood, three pallets of gravel and stone, and three rolls of synthetic turf later, we were ready to get to installation. It just happened to be one of the hottest days of the year that we chose to embark on this effort. First was gravel, on neighbor had let us borrow their tamper to even everything out, then the wooden strips with synthetic turf, and then finally the river rock. Half way through the day (1/2 way through gravel, that is), our neighbor Alisha drove by. She was headed from a pool party to her house to pick up some snacks. On her way back, she stopped in front of our house- we thought to check out our progress. But no! A most wonderful thing happened. She pulled two red Solo cups from her center console, and proudly presented them to us and said “You two look like you could use a drink.” In the red Solo cup was the “house drink,” the specialty of the house at that fabulous home that resembles a Cabo San Lucas oasis.
How to be Neighborly: We all get by with a little help from our friends.
Never have I felt so refreshed. It carried us through to the river rock, and the sense that Alex and I had accomplished something great, with a little help from our friends.
The “House Drink”
Fill a tumbler with ice and add:
- 2 oz Vodka
- 2 oz Club Soda
- 3/4 oz cranberry juice
- 3/4 oz 7 up, Sprite or other lemon/lime soda
- 1/2 key lime, squeezed