I have so many amazing memories of pulling into my grandparents’ farmhouse in the Shenandoah Valley, my dad throwing the car in park, and us running out of the car (pausing only to let the dog out of the back) before feeling supremely welcomed by a hug from my grandparents, the smell of a homecooked meal on the stove or perhaps the warmth of a pool that had been sitting in the sun just waiting for our arrival all day.  None of my memories of visiting involve the awkwardness of figuring out a parking space, or asking someone who was already there to come out and move their car, or worrying about blocking someone in.  It was all just so easy, I think because of two things: 1) there was ample parking space and 2) there was a circular driveway for alternate pathways.

Our house could not be any more opposite.  We have one long driveway that backs up into a garage (that was never designed to actually hold a car, by the way! ha!) with 4 parking spaces at the end if all 4 cars park very closely next to each other.  It is very awkward, and we have to either direct traffic when we want to have more than one extra car over or everyone has to leave at once.

Here are some pictures of the driveway when we bought the house back in 2013…

At the end of the picture above you can make out a column marking the beginning of our driveway from the road.

The below picture is taken from the road looking at our house.  Not exactly the most welcoming entryway but it gets the job done.

A few months after we moved in, David got to chainsawin’ and he chainsawed pretty much all the time.

David was either chainsawin’ the front yard or the area around the driveway, as I proudly recounted in this blog post way back when.

On top of the long awkward driveway is the really long awkward walkway from the front porch to the driveway.  It doesn’t go straight from the house to the driveway but instead cuts across the house at a really sharp angle and goes and goes and goes until it reaches the driveway.

It is not very welcoming, but it has gotten the job done.

Recently, though, David and I have been lamenting this awkward long walkway more than usual.  It wasn’t too tedious with just ourselves and groceries, and it wasn’t too tedious with ourselves, groceries, and a baby, but man is it tedious with ourselves, groceries, a toddler AND a baby.  I am making dozens of trips down this walkway a day and it feels like I’m always lugging something heavy.  I have pretty severe abdominal separation after the birth of our sweet baby Wilson so carrying heavy things requires a lot of concentration on my part, and long story short it’s getting old.

Combine the awkward driveway and the awkward walkway and you get a “eh, yeah, one day we should redo all of that.”

But then, combine an awkward slope of the front yard toward the house.  Which apparently is bringing rainwater toward the house and straight into the foundation before it plummets down the hill the house is on.  And contributing to the basement flooding.  And apparently potentially causing longterm damage if it continues doing so over time.

And suddenly, awkward driveway + awkward walkway + awkward front slope = hey, looks like we’re going to regrade the front yard and redo the driveway!

Soooo we’ve been saving up and it looks like we’re going to spend every last cent we’ve been saving and embark on a new project for our lovely farmhouse.  Operation Circular Driveway commence!

I’ve of course enjoyed researching ideas for circular driveways online… these are some of my favorites:

 

I’m finding that I really like a few things: 1) gravel– seems like a very classic Virginia farmhouse look, 2) extra spaces for parking (reminiscent of my grandparents’ farmhouse, which was just so easy), 3) a big circle with definite room for cars to go around, and 4) landscaping/ vegetation in the circle/ around the edges.
So there ya have it, folks.  Stay tuned for the latest in our Operation Circular Driveway adventure.  🙂