This is the second installment of a four-parter about me and my garage. You can find Part 1 here.
Yesterday, I was standing around doing that procrastinating thing/ kind of starring into space that I do when I am sort of overwhelmed by a task I need to get done when Stevie Nicks walked in.
No, I wasn’t drinking and dreaming, wiseguy. Believe me, I have dreamed many dreams of hearing Sexxxy Stevie’s nine-inch deer-hoof heels slowly clicking across my floor towards me more than once, but it hasn’t happened yet
This Stevie Nicks is a young homeless cat who has basically begun squatting on our porch largely due to the fact that my wife opens up a new can of $1.35 ground up God-knows-what for her every fifteen minutes or so. Throw in fifty bowls of cold milk, and you’ve got yourself a full-time freeloader. But, I have come to like her quite a bit and so I have my Stevie Nicks after all.
Anyways, I was struggling with exactly how to begin cleaning/straightening up my garage-man cave when Stevie strolled in baring gifts. It was a dead mouse. the third one in three days. I took it as an omen.
I mean, what else could it possibly be?
Stevie Nicks spent her night out rodent hunting so she could bring me the message loud and clear, man.
‘If you are slow and uncommitted and ping-ponging back and forth between ideas’, she seemed to be saying, ‘then before long you are going to get bit. Hard.’
I thanked her and nudged her and her ‘housewarming gift’ over toward the corner where she likes to hang out behind my giant steel wagon wheels (whaaaa?!) and immediately started heaving boxes around.
She was smart, that Stevie Nicks was.
Neat freak is not a word I would use to describe my way of setting up a garage to be useful and practical yet still maintain a sense of me, of my style. But, I’m not messy at all either. Mostly, what I know I want from my garage on the practical tip is a place where I can actually find a wrench or a level or a certain screwdriver that I need when I decide to do some work around the house.
And on the more aesthetic tip, I want it to be a place where I can hang my fishing stuff and old license plates and all the other things that I see as a kind of art that pleases my eyes but would never float far with my wife.
So, it didn’t take much rocket science to conclude that I needed to be setting up the garage in sections.
Okay, perfect, I thought. Tools and paint and gas and all on one side/all my other junk on the other. Pretty easy, painless set up idea, right? You can’t get bogged down in minutia when you’re dealing with a large space that needs a total overhaul. You need to concentrate on the macro, on the big picture.; save sorting your tiny screws and nails and stuff like that for last.
Anyhow, I wrestled with my boxes and strollers and spare refrigerator (I’m not gonna lie to ya…it’s a beer fridge) for about three or four hours, putting things on the general side where they belonged according to my plan. It was about 150 degrees in the garage and I was a hot mess by the end of it, but I felt like a minor king watching his castle going up. Things were coming together.
Now, I had some floor space to work with, so the next thing I did was set up the shelves I bought at The Home Depot as part of my assignment. These are sturdy steel shelves designed for an industrial-tinged beating, so they’d be perfect for storing my tools and other implements of construction/destruction. And to be honest, this thing was damn simple to put together. Which means it ain’t from Ikea, you know?
I found a home for my new set of shelves right alongside some battered up Tetanus-dipped other ones that I have bought at yard sales in the past, and although they looked like a new Cadillac alongside a bunch of junkers, I was still as giddy with them as any garage junkie would be. So much more shelf space means I won’t have to be piling things on top of each other on the shelves anymore.
And that’s huge for someone like me who can’t stand having stuff organized yet still find myself having to dig around through controlled chaos to find a dang hook for the porch swing.
By that time, I was wiped out so I finished up my first evening of work the only way I saw fit: cracking an ice-cold can of sunshine while I parked my butt on an old timber post that I use as a seat. Looking around at the place, I was overcome with easy contentment (maybe it was the beer?) and I knew right then and there that, within a few days, I was going to have my House Of Escape opened for business/pleasure again, at long last.
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
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