Driving My Way

driveway 0419At some point yesterday I had a thought: if Dusty’s on vacation, I get a vacation, too, from decisions for a week. That might have been a wrong thought.

Lynn spent her free time yesterday looking at flooring. And then she took Oz out to the lot, where Jay, the backhoe operator, had clearly been busy: trenches have vanished, and our driveway has been started. Giant mounds of dirt have been reduced, the dirt smoothed up to the foundation.

In giving us timelines, Dusty hadn’t mentioned much about backhoe work. Last week while the three of us were getting in the way of drywall action, we reviewed the size of our deck and decided what to do about the patio we had planned. Because if we wanted the patio, then was a good time for Jay to do the prep work.

We decided to forego a formal patio and increase the size of the deck a little bit, and are content with these decisions. But Dusty didn’t say anything about the driveway, and it didn’t occur to me that it would be expeditious to have that worked on while Jay was already out there. It actually didn’t occur to me that he would be the one constructing the driveway.

Looking at the massive trenches, it was hard to imagine that they wouldn’t be open for weeks. I don’t know who installed the sewer pipe, but I guess that got done Monday, maybe? Lynn got called back into work Monday afternoon, so neither of us made it out to the lot.

I still haven’t had a chance to ask anyone about the gas line, and whether it goes/went in the same trench, or if we make a different divot in the ground. Given how long other holes took to get filled in around our lot, I just assumed this would be a drawn-out process, hampered by more vacation.

Here’s the count so far: delays have come due to trips (each of them by a different subcontractor) to Hawaii, Mexico, Mexico, Colombia and now Mexico again. Although Dusty’s trip doesn’t seem to be delaying much: the drywall process continues, as does work on the trim. And Jay obviously has been hard at work.

With this speed, however, comes a potential crisis: as we looked at the paths made to the foundation/house by all the workers, we started thinking that a loop in our driveway would be a nice feature. I can’t remember if we said anything to Dusty, and even if we did, the chances of him remembering to mention it to Jay seem non-existent.

We also know nothing about driveways, except that you have to have a permit for one in the county. And I don’t know if the permit is for a specific placement and shape.

In the original plan, and as it looks in Lynn’s photo from last night, the driveway was going to thread between our westernmost tree and the baby cottonwood. When Lynn started driving into the lot, long before a foundation got underway, it was easiest to drive to the west of the bigger tree. And when construction workers started driving, they went on either side of the tree, and it seemed like we could do an oval around it, kind of like the eye of a needle.

Does the county need to be told about this? I have no idea. Does Jay? Well, yes, but we don’t really know how to go about it. Normally we would have texted Dusty (or e-mailed him and then texted to tell him we’d sent an e-mail), but he’s on vacation. He did write his phone number on the exposed stud between the garage and the house (I really want to put “For a good time call” right above it) — I assume in case anyone needs to reach him, but he’s on vacation.

[I did contact my business partner Kara once while she was recently on vacation, but it was urgent: her unicorn was shrinking.]

So my action plan is to take Oz out there this morning and see if I can find either Jay or one of Dusty’s workers. Although, since they probably start at 7:30 and I start at 10, I’m laying long odds on success. And if Jay has already packed up his toys and taken them home, I guess we wait for Dusty to see what can be done with the driveway, or if we learn to love it just the way it is.

And, since it’s Wednesday, there’s some slight possibility the gas fireplace might be installed today. But don’t bank on it: this was supposed to happen last Friday, too. Wasn’t that some movie? If This Is Wednesday, It Must Be Fireplace?


So now it is later, and Oz and I have been to the lot, where all kinds of things are happening. The first thing that happened was we passed Jay, and his backhoe, on their way out as we went in. Then we spotted the fireplace truck, so it is Wednesday.

I said good-bye to Bret(t), Dusty’s worker is on his last day today. (Before I forget, Lynn, he said your cookies were “amazing.”) He’s going to Boston for the summer (bleah, which is what he said too), before he moves to Bend, Oregon, with his girlfriend.

And I met Jayme, The One Who Stays When Everyone Else Leaves. We exchanged phone numbers, kind of:  he had to call me before I could manage to input his information in my phone.

Jayme reported that he’d run into Jay at the grocery last night, and Jay had questions about driveway turnouts that I could have answered but Jayme couldn’t — and he didn’t have my number. So we’re both now of the opinion that Jay has moved on until Dusty returns with a magnificent tan.

So Dusty is gone, my decision-making is also on vacation, Bret(t) is leaving, the fireplace guys will come and go, and Jayme will carry on, all alone, putting trim around the windows. He didn’t seem too sad: the weather was beautiful, which is good since Denver was calling for snow today.

Kara’s unicorn hatched from a multi-colored egg (yeah, I thought they were mammals, too) while she was in England — and it’s been shrinking ever since. That certainly rates a work text while vacationing, don’t you think?

tzipporah 0419


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