Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Garage That Ate My Summer ...

It has been a glorious summer, for the most part.  Glorious, that is, except for this one nagging task that has been looming over my head.  It's something that I have been asked to do time after time after time, but I still haven't done.  It's an item on the "to do" list that has yet to make it's way onto the "to-done" list.

And the fact that I haven;'t done it has given me a gnawing, guilty feeling that has damaged my summer attitude.

What a shame.

You see, I have this garage ... actually it's more of a small barn with a garage door. And my wife will gladly tell you, it looks much better with the door closed than open.  Much better.  (I'm forbidden to post a picture, it's that bad.) 

Over the last few years I have accumulated an overabundance of stuff that has been allocated to garage storage; so much stuff that the situation has reached its tipping point.  Actually, the tipping point came last year, when I was unable to locate a wrench. A wrench......My KINGDOM FOR A WRENCH!!!

(I digress ...)

The garage has been a sore subject for a long, long time.  It has been on my mind so much that I have had moments of guilt, panic, anger (at my own lazy self), hopelessness, etc ... you name it, I have felt that emotion - about my garage.  This summer, especially, it has been on my mind.  Not because I spend every waking moment thinking about it like a boy thinks about his true love, but because it sits there at the end of the driveway, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month ... mocking me ... giving me the finger ... and damaging what would otherwise be a fantastic summer.

I realize that it's my own fault.

I know without a shadow of doubt that the whole building has to be cleaned and organized. If only I would just DO IT!!   I have tried.  I've gone out there and looked around.  I've made mental notes (and sometimes actual physical notes) about what has to go where and how much stuff has to be sold or given away.  I have removed items and organized parts of the garage, and piled the surplus items elsewhere in the garage.

Basically the whole thing is a gigantic mess.  It's impossible for me to find anything, and it's a complete embarrassment to my wife.

You see, my wife's personality is a cross between a magnifying glass and a paper clip, whereas mine falls somewhere in the slinky / teddy bear category.   She likes things to be properly organized and stored, and I just pile stuff all over the place.  I'm not exactly a horder, but I am a piler.  I make piles.  Of everything.  Everywhere.  It's what I do.  It's a wonder she lets me live. 

I think the problem is laziness multiplied by the enormity of the task ... it's just too much to think about and it's having an impact on this old, worn-out brain (*cue sappy violin music*).  I am easily overwhelmed, and as a result, I get very little accomplished when faced with large tasks (like cleaning the garage).

So,  maybe ... just may - be, if I don't think of it as "cleaning the garage," but instead concentrate on a section at a time, like "the stuff on the floor in the front of the garage," and organize that, and take a break, then go for another part, and a break, and another, and a break, etc ... the whole thing might be organized by this weekend.

Ya think???

Hey - it's worth a try.  Anyway, I have to do something about it so I can get it off my mind and enjoy what's left of this glorious summer.

***Special Notice***

Due to the inflammatory nature of some comments to my last blog post, I have taken the post offline.  It isn't my intention to draw attention to my "dire circumstances," nor to seemingly plead for pity.  I seek only to share what is on my heart and mind.  However, the last post seemed to draw unacceptable comments from otherwise reasonable people who have been regular readers of Tenorboy Journal.  I truly regret the necessity to remove an item that is protected under the First Amendment, but I must also protect the integrity of my blog, my own intellectual property.  Thank you for your understanding.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Camping, Drinking, and Raining

There's a notable Sondheim song, part of which goes, "A weekend in the country would be charming, and the air would be fresh."

That's what my feeling was when we decided to venture out as a family to attend the annual church camp-out, with our three-room cabin tent.  The weekend started off splendidly, as we arrived and saw many of our friends, some with campers, some with tents, some just coming for dinner and the campfire - then heading home.  Couples, families, singles, all join together for one lovely weekend in the country.

We unpacked the tent and I set it up with the help of one of the teens from the church.  Air mattresses were inflated, clothing and food were organized, and dinner was prepared and eaten ... chicken spiedies, salt potatoes, salad, and corn on the cob that was so good I wanted to weep as I feasted on its sweet, juicy goodness.

Just after dinner, someone spoke the words to me that I had been thinking since our arrival.  It was a passing comment, but one that she knew would be appreciated by someone like me.  It was something along the lines of "You know what I could use right about now? A good, stiff drink."

Boy, did she get that one right.

(*GASP*) A drink??  At a Baptist church campout????

It isn't that the evening wasn't wonderful, because it was. The conversations were deep, the fire was delightful, the music was fun, the whole evening had that "ahhhhhh......" factor.  Then we retired to the tent for the evening.

I coulda used that drink ...

Big Sister ate too much fruit at dinner, and had to go to the bathroom ... eight times between midnight and 6AM.  Each time she woke up to do her business, she woke everyone in the tent as she exited and entered.  Yes, each time.  Aside from the natural inability to sleep on the first night of a camping trip, this was too much for me to take.  And I can take a lot.

If only I had a stiff drink ...

Big Sister's active bladder wasn't the only call of nature we heard that night.  Some were beautiful sounds of God's wonderful kingdom.

A pack of coyotes howling.  Their calls were faint at first, then closer, then much closer ... then they ran away.
Crickets - singing and singing all night long.
Raccoons having a little tiff just outside of our tent.
A blood-curdling scream from the tent next door (I won't get into that right now).

All God's creatures.

At 6AM we finally fell asleep.  One of the other men got up early (6:15ish) to prepare breakfast.  It was delicious.  scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, fresh brewed coffee.  Another "ahhhhh ..."

As the day wore on, a slight drizzle began to sprinkle the campground with a dainty mist.  No big deal.  However, the sprinkle soon turned into a drizzle and the drizzle turned into a pour.  Add to this the fact that we were suffering from sleep deprivation (thanks to a certain 11 year-old and her teeny weeny bladder) ...

Boy could I have used a stiff drink.

We knew the writing was on the wall.

We packed it in shortly after noon on Saturday.  We pulled up the stakes and went home.  The tent is up, in the backyard.  We are hoping there will be a day or so without rain, so the poor thing can dry out and be properly stored until our next weekend in the country.

Are we ready to go camping again?  Absolutely, and soon!  But the next time, I'm going to have a good, stiff drink.