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Park your troubles in the garage
A Woman's View
Judi Tabler color mug

While recently visiting Fred’s sister in Littleton, Colo., we noticed all the cars parked along the street in her neighborhood. It was “after hours” when everyone was home. She lives in a patio home, so the yards are small, and the houses are close together.

The south side of the street was packed with vehicles, and there was barely enough room to make the turn into Cheryl’s driveway.

“Why are there some many cars on the street, Cheryl?”

She explained, “It’s like this much of the time. Most of these homeowners use their garages for other purposes; to store their things.”

Actually, I had never thought about this at all. If you remember, I have described Ethel’s garage in a past article. It is so clean and uncluttered that we could eat off the floor. But I digress.

The next day, Saturday morning, I could see what she meant. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Many of her neighbors were home and garage doors were open. Sure, some were packed with belongings, but it was evident that other garages were used as workshops, man caves, garden sheds, and so on. One guy was refinishing a piece of furniture. Very few garages appeared to be a car shelter.

These homes are large, but all that goes on must be confined to the house; no room for sheds or extra storage facilities.

Fred and I have two storage sheds full of... you guessed it ... our kids’ things that they want us to keep just for a while. (A while? That’s a joke). And I pondered how well we would cope with one little 20-foot driveway leading into the garage. 

While reading Facebook, I was amused to read Beth’s article. She touched on the same subject.

Groaning about the recent snow/ice, Beth was scraping the windshield of her car, which was parked outside. And she was regretting the fact that their family two-car garage is detached from the house. She began her post, remarking that their garage was full of stuff, and there was no room for her car. She was scraping the windshield, and grumbling that others with attached garages can get in their car, avoid the elements, and drive off. No scraping, no brushing off the snow.

We all think that someone else has a better deal, don’t we?

Then, soon, she remembered all the things that she does have. She started humming, and as she worked, she pondered happy thoughts. “OK,” she realized, “so I would like an attached garage, but I don’t have one. And that one thing (complaint) could ruin a lot of days. Winter is approaching and the cold isn’t the best for me, but I refuse to waste precious moments of life lamenting things that are not my current reality. I don’t know anyone who has every single thing they want in life. But life can be sweet, and I want to celebrate another day of living.” She ended her post with these words: “Be happy.”

There’s no perfect situation is there? The Colorado crowd in Ethel’s neighborhood has attached garages, and a lot of snow. But, they have filled their space with other things. Beth’s garage is separate, but she has the same problem.

We work with what we have. Hey, that takes ingenuity!

And then there’s us.

Our two cats, Mama and Belle, live in our garage; their beds being separate boxes with padding and comfort. The bikes hang there; the tool bench is along the wall. Need I go on?

And to add to that problem, our garage is not large enough for two of today’s vehicles. All right, I concede. It might be large enough if the bird seed cans, the cleaning tools, tool bench, freezer, and refrigerator were relocated.

What’s the lesson here? It’s obvious. Be grateful for what you have; cope with your situation; don’t look at others thinking they have everything together, and live life simply and joyously.

No one is watching you. They are too busy taking care of their “stuff.”


Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at Visit her website