A couple of years ago, we had a ductless HVAC system put in. 

To install it, the contractors had to cut a square out of our cement patio for drainage next to the compressor. 

For the next couple of years, I steadfastly ignored that hole in the patio. 

It didn’t need to stay open – we could have had it filled with cement; but that didn’t seem like a swell idea.  If you need drainage, you need drainage.  I lived in LA for 20 years and anyone who has tried to drive on an LA street after a rainstorm knows what lack of proper drainage can do.

I could plant stuff there, but then we would have had plants in the way every time we needed to get to the garage from the patio or get to the patio from the garage.  Or (and this is more likely) we would have ended up with a bunch of dead plants in the hole in our patio, because my thumbs are fat pink fat old lady thumbs without even a hint of green. 

I planned to put bricks in the hole, with sand or pebbles around them. 

And I would do it too …


So a couple of years later, my dear husband decided it was time for me to at least get the supplies to fill in the hole in the patio and he would take on the actual task of filling it up with bricks and whatever filler I chose.

Off I go to Home Depot – all fat, old and happy; never realizing that the brick sizes shown on the website are not accurate.  Not even close.  I had done the math – I knew what I needed, only to get to Home Depot and find out that the brick sizes were only approximately what was shown on the website. 

Well, fuck. Just what I wanted to do with my morning – math in my head so I could figure out how many bricks I needed. 

But this buttercup sucked it up and got the bricks (and I even got the right number of them).  Then I got some black sand (to use as a base for the bricks – something that I hoped would make it easier to get them level – and two 5-pound (each) bags of pebbles to put between the bricks. 

By the way, did you know bricks are really fucking heavy?  OMG.  I had to load them into my cart, take them out of the cart and put them into my car trunk and then they had to be carried into the house and to the patio.  Happily, when I got home, my husband took over on moving bricks to and fro – I had the foresight of putting them into bags – 2 to a bag – to make them easier to carry. 

And because of the pandemic, and nobody at the grocery store wanting to touch your Covid-y bags, my trunk is FULL of reusable shopping bags.  (You can bring your own bags, but then you have to bag your own groceries, and I can just imagine how pleased people will be to wait while this fat old lady puts her weekly shopping into her reusable bags.  Yeah, no.)

So my dear husband started.  He dug up the ground in the hole to level it a bit; then he used the sand to even things out; then he distributed the bricks evenly – with space between each row for the pebbles.  Yay!  Pretty! 

Then he poured in 10 pounds of pebbles. 

More please.

Then he poured in the next 10 pounds of pebbles I got.

More please.

Then he poured in the next 10 pounds of pebbles I got.

More please.

We’re currently at 40 pounds of pebbles – between the bricks – and I swear those bricks are not very far apart! 

Where are they going? 

Do I have one of those gateways to hell under our patio, like the ones the feisty (and reckless) teenagers are always finding in their own backyards while the parents are away? 

Have we tapped into some long lost mine shaft? 

Should I expect Indiana Jones to come crawling up out of the hole in our patio with some precious ancient artifact?

Have I mentioned, it’s looking very nice and my husband is doing a great job with what is turning into a much bigger project than I think either of us predicted? 

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