Rochel Burstyn's photo
(Rochel Burstyn)

Rochel Burstyn gives some positives and negatives to the construction happening on her street.

A few years ago, when my friend Shayna was going on a cruise, she asked me what kind of souvenir she should get for me. I jokingly told her to just take lots of pictures of all those dashing men in uniform.

So, Shayna spent her entire trip texting me pics of construction workers in their orange jackets. Not exactly what I had in mind!

Although I’ve got to admit, there’s nothing like construction. If you’ve got little ones, you know construction can be thrilling. A site to behold. Loud noises! Big wheels! Best excitement ever!

For the last few months, we’ve had construction on our street. I wouldn’t have a clue what they’re doing, but the neighborhood kids love it. All those big trucks and that bone-rattling drilling right outside your bedroom window at 7 a.m. Those piles of rocks and sand that the kids happily scale when the workers are gone for the day.

Pulling out of the driveway has become a whole drama. Then you reach the end of the street and you’ve got to wait while the big trucks move the rocks from one side of the street to the next (or whatever they’re doing) while the drivers studiously ignore you for a full 10 minutes.

By now we know to park on a different street … which is totally fine until we go grocery shopping. Then there you are carrying bulging grocery bags in each hand and praying you won’t drop the eggs as you walk carefully, carefully home on the sandy sidewalk.

Because yes, every outdoor item is covered with a thick layer of sand and dust from the construction. The bikes. Stroller. Even the mailbox. I hope this is not what’s happening to our lungs.

We always talk about taking the car for a car wash, but what a waste of time and money! It will just take one drive home to look like we’re returning from racing across sand dunes. Its’s kind of like shoveling while it’s still snowing. Why bother?

But there are some perks to the construction. One is the huge cloud of dust that goes swirling with every single car that drives by. It makes such a statement.

A few weeks ago, it was my daughter’s 17th birthday, so I decided to make her a surprise drive-by socially distanced birthday party.

The surprise part didn’t work at all — apparently 6-year-olds aren’t the greatest secret keepers. My little one told her sister, “Whatever you do, don’t look in Mommy’s bedroom!” which of course made the birthday girl have a peek and that’s when she saw her secret birthday balloons.

My 6-year-old tried to look on the bright side and said, “At least you don’t know about the surprise party!”

Oh well! We gave the birthday girl Italian ices to hand out and pretty soon, cars came honking up our street in this massive cloud of dust, which I must say really added to the drama and suspense of who was coming next.

And every single person who came asked: “What on earth are they doing to your street?” So it turns out construction is also a great conversation starter.

It’s also a fantastic photo op. It’s not like we’re going to be driving through the desert or climbing Mt. Everest any time soon, so we might as well make do with what we have in our own backyard.

And if some dashing men in uniform get in the pics, all the better.

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