Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Ice, Gravity, Steep Driveway ... You Do the Math

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Ice, Gravity, Steep Driveway ... You Do the Math

Article excerpt

Like Ralph Kramden, I've always believed that a man's home is his castle. Just as I've always believed that a man's driveway should be where he keeps his car when he's inside his castle.

A driveway could also be a private road -- should your castle really be a castle -- and/or the pathway to the garage, a quiet, welcoming place where men often go to think, be by themselves, fix things and hold garage sales.

A man's driveway should not, however, be a slide, which was what mine turned into last week, thanks, in good part, to Mother Nature.

For the last few months, I've been lucky enough to have a crew of reliable young men who stop by every so often to trim my shrubs in the summer and make my ice and snow disappear in the winter. On Monday, they stopped by to do the latter.

As you might suspect -- since I have a very long staircase -- my driveway is on a steep incline. This is troublesome, sometimes, but never as troublesome as it was last week, when I asked my amenable snowmen to clear my ENTIRE driveway instead of just clearing the area closest to the street, where I generally park my SUV. (I have no garage.)

I told them a friend was staying over on Wednesday night and would not be able to park his Jeep on the street. (My town eschews overnight parking.)

I then handed over my vehicle's keys and ran back upstairs to my home office, where I was writing a story that would run the following day.

The crew arrived at 3 and I heard them leave at 3:45. So when I was done with my story, at about 5 p.m., I was naturally delighted to go downstairs and see that my staircase and driveway were both clear of snow.

Unfortunately, my driveway was also clear of my SUV, which had slid out into the middle of the street.

"Oh my God!"

My cars keys were on a table on my porch, and I immediately grabbed them and ran outside, even though all I was wearing was a white T-shirt, black nylon gym shorts and rubber thongs.

(Why? What do YOU wear in the snow?)

I got the SUV back into the driveway, parked it and engaged the hand (aka "emergency") brake. But, concerned that this was not going to be good enough to keep my vehicle from running away from home again, I decided I needed something to put under the wheels to hold the SUV in place. …

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