Our garage had morphed from innocent free spot to store a few bikes and some empty cardboard boxes to full-blown storage unit containing an ancient refrigerator, extra wood doors, children’s toys, old paint from our last house, a floral-print couch, wheelbarrow, sawhorses, electrical cords, wooden crates, a desk from someone’s trash, and a broken piano.
The garage was a Black Hole of indecision. Should we keep the broken football? Put it in the garage and we’ll decide later. Do we really need 5000 boxes? Possibly—just keep them in the garage. Where did all these doors come from? Who knows—but there’s plenty of space in the garage in case we lose any in the house and need a quick replacement.
I decided it was becoming a problem when The Husband struggled to close the garage door after putting away something. What was he putting away? The lawnmower—the one thing we both agreed needed to be stored in the garage.
We got out the calendar, and with much military-precision caliber planning figured out a weekend to tackle the problem. We were both dreading the reality of dealing with our house’s giant junk drawer on steroids.
The Husband woke up early that day
Seems I needn’t have worried. When I waltzed into the garage at the leisurely hour of 8 AM, the entire contents of the garage had already been emptied onto the driveway. I was confronted with a big, empty room.
My mind was racing—I could do so many things with this space. Art studio! Exercise room! Home office! Spa! Mini-guest house!
Tall walked in and immediately claimed the space. “Oh, wow, this is so perfect for our top-secret fort,” he began.
“Fort?” I queried, “Don’t forts belong in trees?” I was not giving up on my art studio/ exercise room/ home office that easily.
Short showed up about that time. “I get to have a new game room!” he chirped. “The air hockey table can go right over there.”
The Husband returned from his 700th trip to the driveway, sweating like an Olympic medalist. “What’s going on?” he asked.
“We were just discussing future plans for this space,” I offered enthusiastically.
“Ha! Well, don’t get any ideas because I’ve already mapped it out. This is going to be Party Central. I’m going to buy a flat screen TV and a pool table.”
I could not visualize putting my new art easel on top of a pool table.
“No, I don’t think so,” I contradicted. “I have other plans.”
“Too bad!” he cut me off, “You’re not the only one in this family, you know.”
Ignoring him, I began to explain the future color scheme. “Turquoise,” I said confidently, “we’ll need to buy some Tiffany-box turquoise to paint those ugly walls, install some French doors over here, and refinish those ceiling beams an antique white for contrast.”
“Beams?” The Husband pointed, “You mean those? Those are called rafters, and they are the perfect storage spot for my soon-to-be-purchased canoe.”
“Canoe?! Are you out of your mind? We are not buying a canoe.”
Ultimately, the garage did not become the home of my imaginary art easel or Short’s coveted air hockey game or The Husband’s fictitious pool table. The garage reestablished its secondary purpose after storing a car: shed. Now the wheelbarrow nestles up next to the lawnmower and a bag of fertilizer. A few pieces of sporting equipment hang neatly from hooks on the wall. Tools are housed in a small cabinet in the back of the garage. A car can actually fit if we want. If there was a magazine called Garage Beautiful, we could be featured on the cover.
The next day, I happened to get on the computer before The Husband had signed off. There, on the screen, I saw a Craig’s List offering: Canoe, $50.
It might fit in the basement.