I walk around my neighborhood most evenings, and I have become fascinated by garages. I’m not the Peeping Tammy type, but when the doors are open, your gaze is drawn that way, after all.
You can tell a lot about a family, a life and a history by what their garage looks like. No, none of them look this bad. But many are interesting.
For one thing, garages tend to be pretty full around here. There are a lot of kids, so you have the requisite bikes, scooters, toys, games, stick-and-ball gear. There are swimming pools, so add floating objects, pool chemicals and cleaners. We don’t have snow, but we still need shovels, brooms, rakes and lawnmowers. The do-it-yourself types cannot have enough electrical cords, tools, paints and tables loaded with projects partly done. Washers and dryers tend to mate in the garage.
And then there’s garage furniture: the extra fridge (one neighbor has two full-size refrigerators in his garage). One neighbor has a small home brewery (he makes outstanding beer, by the way). One runs an entire landscaping business out of his garage. It’s amazing what will fit in a two-car structure, when you forgo putting two cars in it.
And plenty of old, unused things wind up in the garages. I’ve seen a small, dingy fishing boat undergoing restoration; a family of bikes, rusty and unused, yet occupying the space that memories are made of; woodworking tools, displays of fishing rods and bags of soil, mulch and plant food for that oft-promised but yet to be planted garden.
Around here, we even manage to get our cars into the garage sometimes. Mostly though, we get our hopes and plans stored in there. We take them out and enjoy them when we can, but mostly keep them safe and dry for someday.