Positioning the cars


I like to park the cars in our driveway facing out toward the road.

The main reasons involve the sunrise. Because our driveway faces south…and ever so slightly east… the morning sun hits the windshields when they are pointed that way. Seemingly beyond count, when I’ve been inside not giving a single thought to whether or not I should be warming up or cleaning off a car, that morning sun has bailed me out by melting away some frost before I stepped outside ready to leave.

But it’s more than the sunrise and windshields.

When pulling out of the driveway, I have a better view of potential traffic in both directions. In bad weather, the cars have front-wheel drive, so they get onto the road more smoothly in drive than reverse. Plus… again bad weather… because of the routine and approach, it’s a bit simpler to move them around when cleaning up snow.

Whatever the reason though, the thing is, backing into the driveway sets the cars up for more convenient and helpful results. And I do stuff like this all over the house.

Kitchen is a great run of examples. Where do you place the coffee maker? Which drawer for the forks and knives and spoons?

And opinions vary in the kitchen. Strongly. Preferences and comfort and ease of use are all different things to different people. (And if you don’t think they are, then check out the options for refrigerators. Split doors, freezer on top, in-door water and ice, freezer on the bottom… can be overwhelming.)

Terry and I used to live in a place where our bedroom was upstairs in a slightly adjusted Cape Cod style house. And despite the modifications that existed in it from classic Cape designs, we had to deal with dormers and slanted ceilings. Because of some of the challenges presented, there was quite literally only one place to put our bed so that the remaining furniture would fit. Don’t use that wall and a ton of wasted space would be created in the room, since the ceiling wouldn’t allow the placement of items or comfortable walking.

Many times, we don’t even give organization a thought. It’s as simple as coming in and dropping keys on a counter. This goes here. That goes there. Or, perhaps more realistically, it happens in a way so that we don’t have to give organization a thought…

Do you have a fireplace in the living room? Add that to some windows, and often the best way to arrange a sofa and recliner are fairly obvious. Head into a bedroom, spot the hole already drilled in the floor for a cable, and it seems clear where to place the dresser that will have a television on it.

Out back, there were two things Terry and I knew we would be adding at some point. One was a shed and the other a garden. We didn’t do it for a couple of years though. Wanted to see how much sun the yard got during the day. Wanted to find out if any places had troubles with water or mud when it rained. While there weren’t any issues with trees involved here, the truth of the matter was that we had been burned before by acting quickly without taking a moment to consider the house and yard in every season.

Some things are intentional. Some just happy accidents. I suppose in many ways, more than a few actions or choices we make have no real support behind why they work the best beyond us simply believing that’s the way they should be. But then again…

Edges of our driveway begin the conversion to the yard. Depending on exactly how the cars get pulled in, that can mean someone gets out of the car with a muddy path to the doors. It’s a delicate balance backing into the driveway, avoiding the mud from the great melts of snow, and yet being prepared so the snowblower can be brought out of the garage lined up and ready to go. Need the right amount of space all around. Supposed to snow tomorrow. (I’d better go make sure the cars are set.)


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com