In this odyssey of cleaning up my parents place, I have thought of this often, usually while hold some random rusted item. This week it has been the garages we have tackled. It was brought on by missing tools and hardware that we knew we had but just where did it go? First we cleaned out the storeroom and found many treasures, like wire cutters.
Most people think of their garage as a place to park a car, set up a pingpong table or do the laundry. Our garages have always been kind of a creepy mystery. I would poke my head in as a kid and look around, not sure what was going to jump out at me, knowing if I stepped all the way in past the leaning plywood sheet doors I would be covered in spiderwebs. And if my dad caught me, there was probably going to be trouble.
He was worried about the garages falling or me taking his treasures.
A few years before he passed, Dad decided I could clean up the far side of the garage, this was after I cleaned up the driveway and made it so a car could park there! He said there was nothing in there he really wanted other than a few things that he told me to leave those alone. I took load after load to metals recycling and the trash can. It was not perfect, but it was better. Over the past few years, that garage has filled back up with stuff. So this week we cleaned seriously. I used the old bent sheets of plywood to make a better wall between the two sides, they are up kind of temporarily so we can take down to fix the walls if we need too. We took down the wood storage rack he had built and tossed almost all the wood. No idea why he was keeping most it, but it was no longer worth keeping!
We also tackled the "good stuff" side of the garage. Mom was not sure she had been to the back of it. Dad even had a wall put up to keep the "good stuff" safe. I was looking forward to finding "the good stuff" I was thinking the TV show Pickers. Boy was I going to find some good stuff!
The good side of the garage is now empty.
What was the "good stuff"? I have no idea, I sure did not find it! Maybe it was the 6 5 gallon cans of Henrys road coating that are still sort of liquid, unlike the 1/2 full 55 gallon drum in the drive way. It might have been the 10 gallons of home brew weed oil or the sprayer. It could have been the 8 5 gallons containers of various paints, a couple seem to be water based the rest oil. I am sure it was not the 500 pounds of cement asbestos wall siding I will get to suit/mask up and hazmat package. Or the 100's of other cans of paints and petro chems that have to go to hazmat or recycling. Or the 200lbs of garden chem soil amendments in the rotten bags also for hazmat.
I did find some interesting old tools, most will hit ebay in the coming year. And best of all, the wooden swing seat I had in the tree as a kid.
But the real treasure? It has to be the empty garage that is going to become a photo studio.
I can see it now, freshly painted exposed beams and walls with a variety of vintage finds waiting to be used as props with the flowers and veggies from the garden.