Category: Writing101

It’s time to clean the garage

IMG_0660My husband and I have a definite difference of opinion. I am a purger who assumes that at least half of what we own at any given time (if not more) is dispensable. He saves scrap wood.

And other stuff. And not in an organized fashion. His is the work bench so disastrous that when he needs a nail it is easier to go buy a new box of nails than search for one the right size.

I routinely go through closets, drawers and storage areas. I throw out the kids’ artwork. Pass on books that I loved and could probably reread. Discard family heirlooms. He keeps the user’s guides from the technology training course held so long ago it is like the Model A of technology.

All this, in the garage. Because I won’t let it in the house. Once something is deposited in the garage it would take an act of congress to get me to bring it back inside. And we all know how unlikely that is given the current state of Washington.

When my husband and I disagree about whether or not to keep something, it goes to the garage. To him, it’s convenient storage. To me, the garage is a staging area for the stuff we can someday discard, when the mood is right, when my husband is so sick of banging his car door into that box of junk that he is seized with a temporary urge to purge.

When he hits this point, all sentiment falls away from the man. He will discard boxes without looking into them first. He will throw out toys the kids are still using, practically removing them from their hands. I take full advantage of these liberating moments, when they arrive.

Today, a new twist. He called me to the garage to take a look at something he’d brought home. It was a motorcycle. Something he’s always wanted. And needs to park in the garage.

I am not a fan of motorcycles. They scare me. And they cost money. But when I saw it, I did not raise concerns about safety or expense. Instead, my first reaction was, “If you’re going to park that in the garage we will need to get rid of some stuff.”

“OK,” he said, amenably.

Yessssssss! Guess what I’m doing today…

This is a Blogging University Writing 101 post.

A letter to someone’s son

I found the envelope when I returned to the parking lot, blown up against my left front tire. There was no address, no name even. Just two words on the front: “Hey, Buddy.”

I don’t know why I read it. I told myself I was trying to find the owner. But really, I was curious, in the way one is when you get a glimpse of someone else’s life.

You’re probably too old to want a letter from your mom on the last day of school, but you’re getting one anyway. I hope you read this and don’t just throw it out with your lunch. I know this year wasn’t always great, and we argued over grades and homework way too much, but it’s only because I care about you and your future. You are so smart, and I want the whole world to know it, not just me. Anyway, have a great day and let’s relax this summer and just have some fun.



A nice letter. But a moment lost. I hope she speaks out to him when he comes home today. Perhaps she will. Or perhaps they’ll go through their evening in a silence not to be breached by a few, simple words.

This post is part of the Blogging University Writing 101 series.