Trading Spaces

shelf stuff 0819There were choices to be made, after Oz woke me up way too early barking ferociously at something offending his sense of propriety. I leaped up, expecting to find a bear or mountain lion at the back door, the way he was carrying on, but I saw nothing.

I heard something, maybe a racoon, maybe a bird . . . I clearly am going to have to work on my woodcraft. The other night while Oz and I were out he went tearing off to the east where I could see nothing, but then a series of harsh non-dog barks started out of the darkness. (My biggest fear then was skunk, but at least Oz didn’t come back reeking.)

I know you can buy books to identify animals and birds by their coloring, their tracks or their scat, but do we suppose I can find an audio tutorial so I will know how worried I should be about all these different sounds in the dark?

Anyway, there I was, wide awake and no bear to siphon my adrenaline, and I had a choice: the Vuelta or unpacking. Which do you suppose I opted for? Well yes, you could certainly make a case for that, but I went with the unpacking. Let’s call it a growth moment.

I don’t know how productive I was, because I was focused on getting garage items off the floor and onto shelves, and my approach was, if it fits, put it on that shelf. I figure once it’s out of floor heaps I can spend better time sorting it out. I did find our first oil/grease spill on our brand-new garage floor (on the electric side of the garage, no less), and I can’t figure out what created it, so now I’m going to end up with oil or grease on a shelf somewhere.

But here is what I’m mostly learning: we now have tons of shelf space and not much wall space, and what we seem to need is wall space.

I have card tables and chairs that need to lean against a wall, and paddles (but no raft anymore — one of the paddles was a race prize, and it has a label on it, so it’s a trophy, not a raftless paddle), and camp chairs, and a little set of steps that now serves as my battery charger rest for my squeaky truck with the battery drain. Most of my lumber collection is in storage, but I’ve started a new collection. Flooring pieces, which should need shelves, but they need long shelves. My team roping ropes, which really impressed Dusty and Sam — until I couldn’t really get one to work any longer. (Operator error, not rope error, I think.)

Rakes, shovels, garden implements. Hoses. One million hoses. Lynn and Dusty discussed yard restoration yesterday, so maybe those will need to go into service and not clutter the garage until I can figure out a plan for them.

Which, is this a problem everyone has? No matter what spigot nor what hose is hooked to it, water leaks everywhere. Lynn, who struggled to get any of our hoses attached to any of our new spigots, was for a moment convinced the spigots were of a different size. Until she mentioned it to Dusty, “and he looked at me like I was such a girl,” she reported.

I didn’t have as much trouble getting the hose attached, although it’s at a tight angle because of the stone, but no matter what either of us did, water spewed from the connection to the house, from the connection between hoses. . . you’d like to think there would be less wasted water than there was from old spigots, but it almost seems worse with the new ones.

Back in the garage I’m still wrestling with where to go with everything. There’s a little bit of wall space before the shelves start on one side, but by the time you put a commercial mixer, refrigerator and freezer against the opposite wall, you only have enough room left for a small utility closet and the trash can.

The back wall is already fully occupied with the electrical panel and the boiler. There might be room for a water softener should we decide to go that route — we’re waiting to hear the results from a free water quality test offered from a grant administered through Delta County.

Several people have suggested ceiling storage, but everywhere you look is another obstacle. One would have to put small lofts on either side of the middle of each garage door, because there are too many mechanical parts to go completely across  the garage doors. Just in back of them are the garage lights (already so full of bugs that I need the Little Giant ladder I have long coveted but don’t yet own — oh, and don’t forget the extension ladder currently living on the outside of the garage — to empty the fixtures out), and in back of those is the attic access.

Don’t suggest the attic, because the opening is strictly shoulder-width; it’s 10 feet or more up my Little Giant Some Day ladder; and I believe it’s filled with cellulose. Anything I might cart up there to store is small enough to fit on a shelf.

At least fitting what I can on shelves helps inform the decisions that need to come after, like exactly how much wall space we might really need, and exactly how many gallons of washer fluid are really necessary for one household. And as I kept opening floor space I got more enthused about my task (all that bear adrenaline going in a productive direction), but of course I overspent my time once again.

And I didn’t completely abandon the Vuelta, tuning in for the final few kilometers, and so of course I am one again late and finishing this at work. Now I can go about the rest of my day knowing Oz will keep us safe from the likes of whatever it was out back this morning, and I virtuously made headway, of a sort, in the garage instead of wasting my life away watching television. Virtuous indeed!

One thought on “Trading Spaces

  1. I’m not so sure I’d call abandoning La Vuelta a growth moment… As for hanging items in your garage on limited wall space, the answer is FasTracks. We’ll talk.


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