Garage Paradise

Garages are wonderful things. If you have one you already know this. A garage is like an extra house, where you can keep all the stuff you don’t want in your actual house. When I was growing up in Hawaii and California we had carports, so I missed out on the experience of having a garage. My grandparents, however, lived in the Mid-West and they had a two-car garage, a full basement and an attic.

Talk about paradise. Grandpa had a mini workshop in the garage with his mason jars and old cigar boxes full of nuts and bolts. He even had an antique, two-handled saw from his boyhood home nailed up on the wall. The garage smelled like axel grease, gasoline and sawdust. I loved it. Grandpa was always very organized. He had a row of cupboards to store his old WWII Army gear and memorabilia. Surprisingly, with all this stuff in the garage he still had room for both his and Grandma’s cars. For a long time I looked forward to the day I’d have a house with a garage just like Grandpa’s. Then it happened.

After Grandpa died Bob and I moved from Hawaii to Kansas City into Grandpa’s house. Grandpa’s garage, it turns out, was our first garage. Then we moved again. And again … and again. Our garage now has a workbench for Bob, tons of tools and plenty of storage space. It also has a place I affectionately call Purse City. Similar to Grandpa’s cupboards of Army stuff, I organized my collection of about 400 unusual and vintage purses in side-by-side dressers.

Eventually, I ran out of room. I’ve had to resort to storage boxes stacked on the dressers and more boxes on shelves behind the dressers. Since I display my purses on my arm by using a new one every two weeks I have to have frequent and easy access to the boxes, which isn’t always easy since the stash keeps growing. Some day Purse City may have to stop taking new residents, but for now I’m happy I’ve got my own garage paradise just like Grandpa’s … well minus the room for cars that is.


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