Monday, November 2, 2009


Sally ate breakfast this morning, packed her lunch, picked up a travel cup of coffee from the counter, and pulled the car out of the garage. So? She pulled the car out of the garage. That means the car was in the garage in the first place.

OK, it wasn't easy. Getting Evan's car into the garage required considerable moving and re-moving of sawhorses, wood trim, tools, and bikes, but it all fit, with room for the Civic's wide door to open fully.

It has been many months since the garage comprised enough open space to accommodate a car. As we began disassembling the old kitchen, the garage became the receptacle for cabinets not worth using in the basement or elsewhere.
And given that we were doing the kitchen ourselves, we cleared the garage out so that the new cabinets could be delivered and stored on one side, with our bikes on the other, until we got around to installing them. Next came supplies from Home Depot - bags of thinset mortar and boxes of ceramic tile - that we stacked on the opposite side of the garage. We filled the remaining aisle with sawhorses, the tile saw and stand, and then squeezed in the bikes. Thus the garage has remained. Over time, though, one pile after another has been reduced in size. We chipped away at the boxes of tile, unpacked cabinets, recycled cardboard containers and disposed of styrofoam packing materials. However, the remaining materials moved down to the floor, and spread out like pancake batter on a grill. Even though the volume of stuff had diminished, the area it covered had grown.

Yesterday morning, noting the thick covering of frost on the car windshields, I decided that, for Sally's sake, it was time to reclaim the garage's original purpose. After all, going to work at 6 a.m. is hard enough without having to scrape a windshield before shivering all the way downtown. So the car spent the night in the garage.

It might not seem like much of a milepost, but we have found through this process that there are lots of things we take for granted until we lose access to them. Sinks. Faucets. Clean countertops. And yes, garages for cars. Now that we have room to park one car inside, we'll start plotting how to get the other in as well. We'll be warmer in the morning, and doubtless the envy of all our neighbors who park their cars outside year 'round because of the treadmills, Bowflexes, lawn mowers, and trampolines they store in theirs.

Simplify, America! Or at least stack more efficiently, OK?

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