The Garage

All week long the weather forecasts had been teasing us poor midwesterners with promises of a beautiful Saturday. I spent Friday evening dreaming of sunny skies and maybe a trip to a local winery.

Saturday morning came and the scent of coffee woke me ever so gently. Soft noises coming from the kitchen confirmed my suspicions: D woke early with Rie and they were downstairs enjoying an eventful breakfast. Sunshine poked through the blinds in the bedroom. This was going to be a good day.

D brought Rie upstairs to dress and peaked into our room. Seeing I was awake he enthusiastically called out, “Wanna clean out the garage today?”

The sky darkened and the birds stopped chirping as abruptly as my heart dropped. Do I want to clean out the garage? We just victoriously saw the end of winter this morning (don’t worry Team Winter – you’ll be back on Sunday) and now we’re going to waste our beautiful sunshiney day on the garage?!

On the other hand, it is not every day you can throw open both garage doors, let the toddler toddle outside, and have a willing partner in doing the dirty…jobs, that is. Fiiiine. I’ll clean out the garage. But not before a cup of coffee.

I was still sipping coffee when we started this job, or I would have thought to take a before picture for Just Kate. Use your imagination here. It was bad. We spent five hours (including a break for lunch and time to chat with neighbors) pulling stuff out of the garage and rearranging the stuff we wanted to keep. Five hours. Rie napped for two of them, so you know we managed to get some good elbow grease.

We filled the recycling bin past full. The cardboard, from various packages or boxes emptied during the purge, that would not fit in our recycling bin spilled over to the bed of D’s truck. Fortunately, he has a recycling drop-off at his work. The garbage can is also past full. That bit of carpeting D was saving for, well, I don’t know what, plus his old Boy Scouts backpack, a leaky cooler…you know, the stuff you keep for years on end, finally found the way out.

Finally, there was the pile of stuff that was perfectly usable and in great shape. Two items were held back to be sold. The rest of it filled the trunk of my car and part of the backseat. For a while there I considered having a garage sale, but I decided I was not about to sacrifice any more beautiful Saturdays to the Stuff God. OK, realistically speaking, there will likely be another Saturday sacrificed to the Stuff God at some point in time, but not in the foreseeable future. The stuff loaded in my car found its way to a Catholic Charities thrift shop.

When it was all said and done, and I had posted my ad of the stuff for sale, I was really happy with the results. The garage looks great. Everything left in it is stuff we use. We can see everything in there. It is kind of strange, but in a good way.

This afternoon Rie and I went for a walk and we were able to start and end in the garage. This is the first time since she was born we have been able to walk through the west side of the garage (I park on the east side). It was so much nicer than doing the stroller-grab-and-shuffle-through-to-the-front-of-the-house dance. I could certainly get used to this.


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