Desperately Seeking Sand

To Fix the Brickwork, You Need
Truncated Quadrilaterial Pyramids

By Les Tanner

When we moved into our present home in Caldwell in 1980, a nice brick sidewalk led from the front step to the driveway.

Besides allowing people to come to the front door without having to walk on the lawn, it provided a barrier to the water we used for irrigating the lawn once a week during the summer. Without it, we would have had regular floods in our garage. We had enough as it was.

Even back then, grass from the lawn had begun to spread into the cracks between the bricks, and before too many years had passed, the only clue to the existence of the brick walk was a slight elevation in the lawn on that side of the yard. I felt there was no harm in this. Folks could still get to the front door via the sidewalk next to the house. The only drawback was the weeds. Those cracks between the bricks, which allowed the lawn to invade, seemed ideally suited to the roots of dandelions and other such plants, and digging them out was next to impossible. The best I could do was to break the plants off at the surface, and this merely reinforced the vitality of their roots.The only solution to the problem appeared to be to tear out all the bricks, dig out the offending plants, and re-make the walk.

As one who dislikes rushing into things—the house might burn down, for example, and then there’d be no need for the walk—I waited until a couple of years ago to begin that cleaning-out process. It wasn’t a particularly hard job. In fact, it was somewhat interesting to see how the various types of vegetation had adapted themselves over, around, into, and under the bricks. I even discovered a couple of quarters long since lost in the cracks, and this gave me the excuse to take a break of several hours while I combed the yard with my metal detector, looking for more. I didn’t find any.

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