It’s Friday and it’s promising to be hotter than the blazes of the underworld out here this weekend. As the cool morning springs back up after a monsoon style rain last night and the sun pushes its way toward the middle of the blue sky, I feel like shedding layers…layers of blankets from my comfy bed, layers of clothing, layers of worry and layers of work on my to do list.
And what’s #1 on my to do list?
Cleaning out the damn garage. The damn garage that has been home to what some people thought was important stuff for a good twenty-plus years. I think it has been cleaned before, but with a leaking roof, crumbling doors and muddy floors, it’s time for the thing to go to its grave.
But some things don’t go down easily.
Oh, we have been shooting at it for a good long month, walking in there to start to tackle the process and then promptly walking out convincing ourselves there are more important things on that list: a horse that needs riding, a lawn that needs mowing, a weed that needs whacking. Once I even turned my butt around to tackle the laundry pile instead…and you know how I feel about laundry.
Yes, this is what we’re dealing with here people. It’s a disaster zone of old microwaves, bed frames, dressers, ice skates, thousands of unidentifiable tractor and truck parts, my dad’s old lunch box, swallow nests, spiders, deer antlers, gears, wire, a Christmas wreath, scrap wood, a jeep and a partridge in a pear tree.
I would like to blame this situation on my relatives, the ones who built this little specimen of disaster in the first place, but as we opened the door last week and began organizing piles of stuff into “keep,” “toss,” “give away,” and “what the hell is this?” it became quite clear that the problem did not lie in past use of the facility.
The problem was my husband…and a little bit my pops.
Yup. I blame it on the boys. Because I refuse to take responsibility for the following:
A mini, yellow, homemade boat that has been out on the lake approximately four times, once involving me, husband, a fishing hole in the wilderness, a pickup stuck up to its nuts in gumbo, no cell service and a hike in flip flops up to the top of the nearest butte.
A microwave given to my mother as a proposal for marriage in the early 80s that was just recently exchanged for a newer model and placed in the garage, because…well, forget that it weighs all of 110 pounds, it still works, someone might use it someday and it has sentimental value dammit.
Three pairs of cross country skis from the same era as the microwave and one pair from the beginning of time.
A three-wheeler that showed up at our doorstep from the depths of a landfill somewhere. It might work someday. It. Might. Just. Magically. Work. One. Day. Until that day it will continue dying a slow death in the garage.
A dirt bike purchased by a handsome sucker who is certain that one day he will acquire the skills of John Travolta’s character in Phenomenon and breathe some life into what was, at one time, a fine machine. Until said sucker gets struck by lightning, the dirt bike will exist propped up against the garage.
A jet ski that “isn’t broken” but has served as the world’s largest lawn ornament for a good year now, waiting, too, on that lightning strike.
Five ladders that I am not about to climb.
Two washing machines whose motors are waiting to be attached to a grinder, inserted into another washing machine that doesn’t work, rigged up in a go cart or maybe applied in some way to help get that damn jet ski out on the water again and out of my life forever.
Ok, ok, I will take responsibility for some of it. I mean among the rubble I did find 103 flower pots, six pairs of ice skates and my old purple, ice cream cone sleeping bag. But in my defense, if I remember right, at one time I had aspirations of landing a triple axel and heading to the winter Olympics like my good friend Nancy Kerrigan, and a girl needs back up skates for that. Also, I have full intentions of filling all of those pots some day with gorgeous, Martha Stewert approved flowers…and that sleeping bag was useful in protecting pops’ not yet out of the box 2004 Christmas gift meat smoker.
Shit. The quaint mystery and charm of the Flea Market loses all of its wonder when said Flea Market is in your front yard.
Actually I think it might turn into another term all together…one that begins with “Red Neck” and ends with “Ville.”
Sweet Martha where are you when I need you?
So I’ve decided in order to lift my spirits on this 90 degree cleaning day I would like to give something away. And I’m going to refrain from trying to convince you that you all need a new pair of ice skates, and old cooler and an almost working jet ski.
No, I love you too much (and I’m afraid I’m not that good a saleswoman). So instead I wanna give you a chance to win your choice of one of the following three metallic 8×10 matted photographs that celebrate the finer scenery in my backyard:
All you need to do is cheer me up by sharing your own cleaning woes. Tell me I’m not the only Redneck woman. Tell me you too have two non-working washing machines and an old ice auger in your crumbling garage. Tell me I am not married to the only man hoarder, aspiring mechanic.
Tell me I’m not alone!!!
Share your story and I will put all of the names of the participants in one of my 103 empty flower pots and pick the winner on Monday.
And then say a little prayer to the junk gods that they will send down an angel to take this hot mess of a garage to heaven.