Hill and Dale

Late last winter, a neighbor we had never met–he lives down the road and around the corner–saw me snowblowing our driveway. He took pity on me and voluntarily started clearing our driveway with his tractor which had a snowblower on it. It took us a couple of hours to clear the driveway, but he just drove up and down a couple of times and voila! He was done! He snowblowed maybe four or five times and refused to accept any payment. It was such a blessing!

Sunday the neighbor–his name is Dale–came up in the driveway in a tractor he had recently bought. Apparently, a lever was too short for his comfort so he asked EJ if he could make the lever longer. EJ, who is a machinist, was able to do just that.

When we first moved here, the driveway was a mess. Erosion had caused deep gullies along both sides of the driveway–and even one across the driveway. This is a video I took of our driveway a couple of months after we moved here. It was after a storm, which didn’t help matters much!

After we moved here, we put in drainage tile and then we shoveled by hand more than 90 tons of gravel and dirt into the gullies to fill them in. Then I spent several summers building rock dams at the sides of the driveway to slow the rainwater from carrying away the gravel and dirt. The rock dams stretch from one side to the other across the area that had been eroded into gullies. It’s interesting to see now just how wide the erosion had been. We also planted grass and wildflower seeds and transplanted lilies between the dams to hold the soil. You can see how the plants covered more of the eroded area each year. Our measures have worked! Yay!


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While they were working on the tractor lever, Dale told EJ that he had his wife had driven up to the house when it was for sale, before we bought it. His wife took one look at the state of the driveway and emphatically crossed it off her list of possibilities. Although fixing the driveway was expensive and very hard work, I have been thinking that if it wasn’t for its deplorable condition, the house probably would have sold more quickly and we wouldn’t have been able to buy it. This is what I call a “strangely-wrapped gift”–when something that doesn’t appear pleasant at first ends up being a tremendous blessing in hindsight. I totally love our home and property.

Before our neighbor drove off today, we gave him three dozen eggs. I had been wanting to give him eggs as a small thank you for snowblowing the driveway in the winter. Dale on his tractor returned a short time later. He had noticed that our driveway was lumpy and bumpy. We have found it impossible to smooth the driveway very well with just shovels and rakes. Dale had a grader on his tractor, and he drove up and down the driveway multiple times to smooth it out. Now it looks awesome! This is the photo I took this morning of our graded driveway! This year the plants are so thick that you can’t even see the rock dams in the photo.

Our smooth driveway!

We are very thankful for such a nice neighbor.


2 Comments on “Hill and Dale

  1. What a blessing good neighbors are and you have a dear one. Your drive looks great and makes life a little easier to enjoy, as we live on a gravel rd and are grateful when the county trucks come down.


    • Yes, it is really nice when the roads are smooth! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer! Are you getting a lot of flooding in your area? What do the farmers’ fields look like? We haven’t gotten the constant rain that I hear you all have been getting downstate.


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