Saturday, September 12, 2009

Why do we park in a driveway and drive on a parkway?

Here's my confession: I hate my driveway. That's not really all that earth shattering, but the fact of the matter is my driveway is causing me a lot of problems lately and I need to get my true feelings off my chest.

For those of you that have been to my house, you know exactly why I hate my driveway. Chances are, you hate my driveway, too, especially if you're one of the people who have driven off its edge. Sorry about that, btw.

It's a single car in width and the flat part of the driveway is butted up next to the house. The driver side opens on to a good 12 inch drop off in to our neighbor's yard. Under the driveway has eroded on the property line. Sometimes the neighbor's have fire ants in their yard and when I park up next to the house, I have to get out of my car, step in to the neighbor's yard avoiding the fire ants.

The fun begins when I have to get the baby out of the car. Step down, step up, climb IN to the car and if we're not so lucky, baby is sleeping and that means pulling out the infant carrier. Carrier goes on to the seat, I step down into the neighbor's yard (again avoiding ant hills), reach as far as I can and lift the seat out. There's just not enough room for me to get the seat out and turn around. I tried it once and almost killed myself. The baby would have been safe in the carseat, I'm sure...unless the fire ants got to her, but we're not going there today. So now I'm walking in the neighbor's yard and get my door shut.

Use the passenger side, you might suggest, but there's not enough room for an adult to get in from the open door on the passenger side. I have to back up to let anyone in on the passenger side.

All of this is even more fun if it's raining!

So we've established I have a very narrow driveway, but that's not the only reason to hate it. It's also on a steep incline. The part next to the house is flat, but it's got quite a grade on it. I've fallen on my butt just walking down the driveway to get the mail.

If D parks in the driveway first I'm totally screwed if I have to unload anything out of the back of my van. If it weren't for my lightening fast reflexes, I probably would have broken my toe today. I opened the back and everything that had been so neatly packed fell out. I jumped out of the way, narrowly missing being hit with myriad objects slated to go to the thrift store.

Parking on the street...alas, is not a favorable option either. If I park away from our mailbox (it's a federal crime to block mailboxes) I end up directly in the line of fire from the across-the-street neighbor's driveway. We've already been hit from someone backing out and not paying attention. We also have a problem of other people thinking it's a load of fun to speed down, then back up the hill. And by back up, I mean they do it in reverse. Yes, we've called the cops and no, they don't care. My insurance can't take the hits (puns intended!).

Yesterday when I had things to unload and a sleeping child in the car, I made the (in hindsight) poor judgment to park on the dirt in my yard. I figured it's my property and it's dirt, not grass, so no harm done. Plus, I was leaving again in a few minutes to go return a rental. Well, in that very short period of time, some city worker who was looking to make a few bucks for the city, noted that I was parked in my front yard and gave me a ticket!

So now, I really hate my driveway. Really detest it.

The thing that irks me is if D had moved his car for me to park, he would have pulled on to the lawn and he would have been the one getting the ticket while he waited for me to get done. DH's car is smaller so he doesn't have the same issues with the driveway as I do.

Plus, its my property! I own it. As my friend Amy pointed out, the whole point of being a home owner and *not* living in a place with an HOA is that I should have the right to "paint my house pink and stick plastic flamingos in the yard" if I want! If I want to stick up tinfoil in all my windows and create a lawn gnome garden and wait for the aliens, I should have that right! And, if I want to park on my DIRT so I don't break a toe or my neck, then I should have that right!

I need to move to the country...


  1. Sounds frustrating!Thank heavens you have a great sense of humor!

  2. You know, I think I would get a HUGE load of gravel and gravel my front yard, and then tell the city that it is an extention of my driveway. PLUS I have prepaid legal and would SOOO fight that ticket!!! HUGS....


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