The Storm Before the Calm

by Bob Sparrow

After recent trips to Hawaii and Palm Desert, and getting ready for a trip to Spain and Portugal next month, I should be content with just relaxing in our backyard for a few weeks, however . . . the backyard is anything but relaxing.  Those who have been to our backyard might be wondering why I couldn’t relax in our ‘Hawaii-transported-to-California’ atmosphere. Well, late last month we decided that things were looking a little tired out there, Hawaii was looking more like Hawaiian Gardens, a city in the suburbs of Los Angels, next to a freeway, known for its gambling casino and not the least bit tropical.  OK, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but it was 30 years old and in need of a facelift. As those who may have gone down this path before, know that a facelift can often turn into a complete body makeover – and so it did.  I have to say, it pained me to see the crew come in and demolish our pool and yard, eliminating our large planter and three beautiful palm trees that I planted 30+ years ago.

Deciding what to put in after all was demolished was not easy.  We visited several tile and pool places and got samples and were expected to pick a paver that’s going to cover most of our backyard, from a sample six inches square!  We get to look at one piece of stacked stone to ‘imagine’ it covering all the areas it’s supposed to cover.  We looked a lot of photos of pebble tech, but photos and real-life colors aren’t EXACTLY the same.  Other issues included the breakage of existing sprinkler lines during the demo process and, of course, rain.  We needed the rain, I get it, but enough already!

Linda and I didn’t agree on everything, but we were finally able to find middle ground when choosing pavers, stacked stone, pool tile, pebble tech, coping and stucco color.  Yet to be agreed upon are things like new furniture, umbrellas, fire-features and whatever else is going to end up back there.  I did come to realize that I needed to acquiesce a bit, as Linda’s love for negotiation helped get us the best deal – although she reminded me, ‘best’ is a relative term and not to quit my day job!!

One of the benefits we really didn’t count on, was having a Port-O-Potty in our driveway for the first half of this year – it’s really handy when I’m working in the front yard and need a bathroom break – we might just leave it there!

I’ve included a couple of photos of the wreckage, which look akin to the ravages left by Hurricane Iniki, the worst hurricane to ever hit Hawaii – winds of 145 mph, with gusts up to 225 mph.  OK, maybe I’ve taken a little liberty with the truth here, but it’s a mess, a wet, muddy, rocky mess.  But sometime, hopefully by summer, we’ll be sipping Margaritas and Mai Tais by the pool and second-guessing our choice of . . . just about everything!


6 comments on “The Storm Before the Calm

  1. The storm before the calm seems to be lasting waaaaaay too long.
    I’m sure you’ve asked yourselves if it’s worth it.
    We were thinking about redoing our back patio, fountain and yard after a little over 15 years, but decided to wait awhile. Your story was our inspiration!
    Sure your end results will be amazing!

    • We’ll probably know the answer to the question, ‘Is it worth it?’ when we’re all done and it’s too late to do much about it!! Fingers are staying crossed!

    • We pick the Port-o-Potty to match the house, in the event we wanted to leave it there when all the workers are gone!!

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