Cliff has considered it somewhat of a challenge, over the past few years, to avoid buying gravel for our driveway. When new gravel is put on the road in front of our house, he'll spend a couple of hours dragging some of it up our driveway, trying to put a little bit of cover on it (which used to drive an elderly neighbor lady nuts, before she passed away). In the past, I've appreciated Cliff's thievery. It isn't cheap to have gravel delivered, and since I'm the one in charge of the checkbook, I've gone along with this money-saving effort.
We're having what I'd call an old-fashioned winter, so far this year. It gets cold. It snows. The snow melts a little, then freezes into ice. It's the sort of weather that doesn't lend itself to horseback- or motorcycle-riding.
And then yesterday, Christmas day, the temperature got almost up to 50°. By putting on a couple of layers of clothing and then donning leathers, a short motorcycle ride would have been in the realm of possibility.
Except for one little problem: The driveway had no bottom to it; it was like quicksand. The thawing had made it almost impossible to navigate with a car. Certainly, there was no way of getting a motorcycle safely to the road, Cliff told me.
I stewed and fumed awhile in the house, then went to the shop where he was puttering with tractors: I put my hands on my hips, and said firmly, "I'm ordering a load of gravel tomorrow!"
"Can we afford it?"
"I'll see that we can; I'll rob Peter to pay Paul, if I must. This is ridiculous. If we can afford a motorcycle, we can afford gravel."
That's when he pointed out that we can't get gravel until everything freezes again. The big gravel truck would sink in and make huge ruts, which would swallow up the whole load of gravel.
Oh well. I tried.