I love spring and I hate spring. And this year some sort of illicit affair between Mother Nature and Father Global Warming has sprung things a little early. With the blooms a-popping, our winter activities are relegated to second-class status. The tinny twangs of the two-strokes, so prevalent on those colder weekends, are fated to replacement by their throatier, street going cousins. While this is certainly not a bad thing, it does signal that annual chore that every guy (and by “every guy”, I mean me) hates – cleaning the garage. As my wife Kathy will attest, my housekeeping skills lie just south of nonexistent. On top of that, she goes nowhere near the garage. So, when the birds begin chirping, I’m forced to come to grips with the fact that 12-months of cascading lawn tools, magically appearing KZ650 parts, spilled oil-dry, and a piece of sheet metal from one of the local stock car guys (huh?) aren’t going to organize themselves. I’ve tried doing the Uri Geller thing, you know, channeling all of my mind’s energy toward those locked double doors and thinking real, real hard of all those bits and pieces springing from the floor and on to shelves and handy hooks. Unfortunately, my attention span is on par with a five-year old, and those cool hooks and shelves are still down at Home Depot. Not to mention the exertion of brain power much beyond comprehending the instructions on a frozen pizza box most often spawns little more than a headache and a burnt pizza. So, every year, it’s the same old thing. I curse organized people and Uri Geller, pick a day, and roll up my sleeves.
The first step is the emptying process. Like campus cops busting a fraternity kegger, I wade into the swirling mass, corral everything that isn’t tied down and herd everything into the driveway. Then, I take stock of what stays and what goes. Why in the heck is there stock car sheet metal in here anyway? Now it’s time for the dump run. It’s truly amazing that some items were important enough to receive shelter several months ago, yet today they’re clanging off the bottom of a dumpster at the landfill. I’ll figure out how my mind works one of these days, maybe. After that, the broom comes out and every little speck of dirt, dust, and oil-dry (OK, it’s really cat litter, oil-dry just sounds more garage-y) is swept into the woods. And now, the fun part – with daylight fading, everything gets moved back inside. Still, it’s easy to find a place for everything and there’s enough room to actually walk around.
Yes, cleaning is truly amazing; maybe that’s why Kathy is so fond of it. Both dirt bikes have their own space, the lawn mower and pressure washer are cozy, and the tool boxes are easily accessible. And, like every other spring, I stand back, admire my hard work, and swear that this year will be different. I’ll keep it clean, organize things on a regular basis, and in no way shape or form will I keep anything that could even remotely be considered “useless”. Now I just need to find a couple of nails. That stock car sheet metal will look really cool hanging above the doors.