A Weak End

garage 0720
Not that it looks like it, particularly, but this is progress back toward a two-car garage.

One of the standard conversational gambits at work (my work; perhaps yours as well) is to ask one another on Fridays what our plans are for the weekend, and then on Mondays, how the weekend went. My answers, rarely exciting, these days are that I am running at full tilt and never getting anywhere.

Here is my weekend in microcosm: Oz and I were out for our usual neighborhood inspection stroll, generally a solitary activity, when we were bombarded: my mom on the phone, a pair of bicyclists coming up behind us, a pair of neighbors walking toward us, their very wet Lab Finnegan, whom I haven’t seen for months, coming on the run for the snack he was sure I would have for him, and a truck on the road, which I found out much later in the day contained Kara and her husband, purchasing a couch from other neighbors.

One busy moment, but that seems like the entire day went that route.

It started early, when yet another neighbor came to the front door with Oz. I thought he was sitting right outside the door but he had instead decided to take himself walkabout down the road. Lisa was concerned that he might wander into the path of a moving vehicle, which didn’t used to be much of a concern but certainly was yesterday.

The day ended with quite a procession of prospective lot buyers, and we’re not sure what set them off, but there were scads of them in the evening, almost as if K-Mart was offering a blue-light special. I don’t believe a single lot has changed hands yet this year, and when Lynn checked the flyers yesterday during her neighborhood inspection with Oz, prices have dropped about $5,000 on every lot.

I don’t really understand this. Country living turns out to be more expensive than city life — electric rates doubled, sewer rates quadrupled — but the lot prices for an acre or more on allegedly quiet country roads surrounded by cottonwoods are less than the price you would pay for a fraction of an acre inside city limits, if you can still find a lot to build on.

And if you want an already-built house in town, prices are still screaming upward, and the people packed cheek by jowl in townhomes in Van Tuyl Village are paying $380,000 plus for that questionable privilege, but those seem to sell like half-cooked flapjacks being shoveled off the griddle.

Maybe this month will be the cash opportunity the Riverwalk lot owners have been seeking, with all these drive-bys. One couple got out and walked a lot across the pond at least twice, drove off and drove back. As near as we can tell, that’s the first active interest shown in that particular lot.

In between a morning traffic conglomeration and the evening Thanksgiving melee at Walmart, I spent most of my day in the garage. I don’t know that I accomplished much, but I did move everything that had been in the west bay into the east bay. I’m sure that’s significant.

Twice in the last two weeks Julie from Habitat for Humanity made trips to our garage, one for her yard sale and one for their build that got pushed off until next year due to Pandemia. Despite loading her truck up once with furniture and odds and ends, and again with flooring and a vanity, I didn’t think the garage looked any different.

But by the end of yesterday, after moving a desk inside the overstuffed guest room/book depository, there at least seemed to be the possibility of a way toward daylight. And only 11 months after moving in!

There are still an unconscionable number of boxes in the garage, most of them unconscionably mine (although if we stack them alongside Lynn’s decorative commercial refrigerator, we could be talking a similar volume of space). But at long last everything is organized, sort of, if you are willing to keep your files generalized: there’s the “going away” pile, the “staying, at least for now” huddle, and the big heap in the middle: “Don’t know.”

I even put them in order in the bay, because that was the problem when Julie came to get yard-sale treasures (including the hand-washing sink from Lynn’s bakery, which was the first item to go at the yard sale, for a whole 5 dollars): we were wading in and out, over and around, trying to find things.

But now, prior to the Animal Welfare League’s sale in a month, everything that can go their way is just inside the bay door, followed by the heap that I have that month to try to sort, so that I can neatly slide newly-ordained “go away” items into their appropriate pile, as well as shifting keepers to the back.

But despite getting all that done, plus sanding a tabletop, my weekend chore list is still quite lengthy, still with no end in sight. It feels like the days of wandering around, wondering if there was something more pressing than a nap (the answer: always no), are never going to come back. I’m not finding time to get to my woodshop and work on any of the 1,000 projects I have imagined; I am only shifting boxes, not sorting through them; I am not using weekend time to get the new used bookstore set up; our deck railing remains unstained.

This is wearing me down, to have a full, active day and see not much in my rear view mirror and a whole line of debris littering the superhighway ahead.

Tomorrow I will go into work and be asked how my weekend was. I will default to a single sentence: I thought I got a lot done, but it doesn’t really seem like it. And then my week will go the same way, and then it will be the weekend, or the weak end . . . it would be nice to have some sort of light at the end of my tunnel vision.

In the meantime, I guess I will pick an item or two out of the 10 on my list for today, and see if it makes any sort of dent. Warranted or not, there might be a nap in there too.

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