Depends on how the lot was graded, and how much further downhill the lot
went past the house. Rainwater running into garage and basement can be
an expensive PITA. But if the house is in a bowl, the whole damn thing
can flood. If at all possible, you want the house to be the highest
point on the lot. But as I have learned from sad experience, having a
driveway that rises around 8 feet over a 60-foot run, can also be a
problem if you live in snow country. After losing one transmission, I
now have resigned myself to plowing before trying to get up the drive,
if I can't see the pavement through the snow. I suppose that is one of
the reasons this place sat empty for six months before I bought it at a
When I lived in Vermont (classifies as "snow country" ;-), our
driveway was like that. No big problem at all. It sure beats a
driveway sloped the opposite direction. At least I could get home
(before removing the snow) without worrying about losing the garage
door. Snow melts, too.
How in the world did you lose a transmission?
My driveway slopes up from street to house. Driveway is asphalt. Until I
realized FWD transmissions (esp mopar minvans) were not as solidly built
as RWD transmissions back in the old days, if there was only a couple
inches of snow, I would sometimes drive uphill through the snow. Made it
through about 1.5 winters before tranny told me that was a bad thing to
do. At that point, the value of the van with a good tranny was the same
as the cost to rebuild the tranny. I have a snowblower and a good leaf
blower now, so I seldom have to hand shovel very much. But I do have to
get up half an hour early on snowy days to clear drive, even for only a
couple inches, because if I drive out over it (which presumably does no
harm), I have 2 stripes of ice to contend with at the end of the day.
The best-remembered lessons are the expensive ones, etc. I'm sure an AWD
or 4wd baby SUV would have no trouble with this driveway, nor would an
old-style RWD with actual snow tires in rear (not 'all season') and a
few sandbags in trunk.
I had a couple of minivans, though they were standards. I also had a couple
of intrepids, no issues with snow. The trannies were junk (on all Chrysler
crap), but I still don't understand how a little snow got to them.
Yep, my '93 TSi got scrapped because of the tranny, too. The '96 Intrepid got
sold at auction before it got that far (we chickened out).
Yeah, I had a snow blower, too. If I got any ice on the driveway it tended to
last all Winter. I did usually have to shovel out the end of the driveway,
though. That stuff would be either as hard as a rock, or slush. Either would
plug up the snow blower.
I still don't know what was so tough on the tranny. Spinning wheels is
In our town, people with disabilities are not required to bring the
trash cans to the curb. You might call the town and explain that it
is not feasible for you to bring the cans to the curb. I suspect (in
light of all the disability laws) that they will have someone fetch them
I'd be willing to bet you're not the only 80yr old with a long
driveway your hauler has ever come across. Give them a call & see
if they have an idea.
I'd probably end up building something like a walker with good sized
swivel tires so all I had to contend with was forward motion- not
holding the weight on 2 wheels.
Got an old golf cart lying around?
Paved drive? Could buy or build a small cart to take stuff up the hill.
We have the monster cans with wheels, but they are in the lot and the
city rolls them out to the truck. I would not consider filling a
standard garb. can, much less the monster cans, and trying to maneuver
it by myself. The solution might be to have an enclosure at the top of
the hill for the cans and take smaller batches of trash to the cans there.
I'm not 80, but I can almost see it from here. No 80 y/o has any
business trudging up a hill with a load like you describe...gotta plan
for your own safety, above all else. A garden cart will take plenty in
one batch up the hill to empty there. Hauling a heavy can with an arm
out the window of your car is likely to get you a broken arm, or worse.
I had a similar problem and I decided to start a mulch pile in a remote
corner of my property. Mostly grass clippings and small bush cuttings.
That took care of most of the heavy stuff. A neighbor complained about
it to the code enforcement people. They came out and said I had a great
idea and they started to encourage all rural folks to do the same.
Good job! A lot of places won't take grass clippings and other garden
waste. Although I like the compost idea, I'm sort of stuck wondering if
that compost stuff wouldn't help the landfill compost most of the paper
Not true! Taking things "easy" is how you become decrepit. My 86 year old
mother regularly hikes (even with recent foot surgery), works out every day,
and does all her own yard work. Dragging the cans to the curb every week is
a given. And she's only 110 lbs at 5 ft. Man up already.
I'll bet your mom doesn't haul 200# loads. More power to her. There is
a big difference between being active and taking chances. 80 y/o bones
break easily, and don't heal as easily. I've become much more aware of
fall hazards around the house, and have made my home safer. I do a lot
of physical work and hope always to be able to do so.
I disagree. Her wheelbarrow is nearly as large as she is, yet she fills it
full up with dirt/gravel/whatever, and hauls it all over the yard. Could
easily be 200lbs. Again, if you don't use it, you lose it. Weight resistance
builds bone strength/density. She fell on the ice last year and not only did
she not break anything, she didn't even bruise. Her solution to slipping on
the ice wasn't to get someone to do her shoveling for her, she bought
crampons to slip on over her boots. She has someone plow the driveway, but
she like to shovel the front and back walkways - she says it "keeps her
As I said before, there is a big difference between healthy exercise and
taking chances. As active as many elderly are, a broken hip can mean
permanent disability or death. As a retired nurse, I have seen it many,
many times. Just keeping mental track, I figured over the years that
the most common cause of falls for elderly that resulted in broken hips
was...hurrying to the restroom.
My mom gave herself a present for her 80th and hired someone to clean
her eavestroughs for her. They did not do a satisfactory job, so she
resumed climbing on a ladder and doing it herself (single story home).
My husband is exceedingly strong, but when he isn't around and I want to
do something that requires moving something heavy, I engineer it.
Fitness does not equal foolishness...if the trip is a long one, there is
no reason to risk a fall on ice or a back injury toting a heavy load.
Taking more, smaller loads increases exercise and reduces chance of
strain. As others have suggested, using vegetative waste for mulch is
also a good idea.
Bottom line, when you stop doing things for yourself, just dig a hole and
lie down, since you're already dead. Meaning, that if you are not exercising
VIGOROUSLY for at LEAST 60 MINUTES EVERY day, you aren't doing anything and
should just give it up. Exercising (weight resistance training) actually
builds up bones and guards against breaks, even in advanced old age, as any
nurse should know. You can get the exercise moving your trash, your dirt,
cleaning your house, your gutters, dancing, taking yoga or boxing classes,
or going to the gym. Work it out on your own, but most people will die much
sooner than they should because they never get off their asses. Most people,
Americans in particular, are lazy.
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