Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Space to Open the Car Doors -Only 18 Months Late

I can't believe I bought the truck a year and a half ago and never even thought of cleaning out enough space in the garage to be able to open the truck's doors! The truck opens like a truck, with one standard side door on each side in the front that opens out and toward and front and then another door on each side for the back seat that opens from the middle of the truck toward the back. When both are open, voila! There is a big space for loading or unloading the back seat...hmm, about the size of the sliding door of the old minivan. Ever since I brought the truck home last February, I (and my long-suffering family) have used the squeeze and dodge manner of loading and unloading the cab of the truck. Go past the front door and open it as far as you can before it hits the boxes and the saw and the hand trucks stored next to the car; then squeeze into the space where that door is open and open the back door, creating a triangular space with you standing at the apex where the two doors meet and can't be opened any further. Then try to get a bag or box out, mostly by picking it up and squeezing and maneuvering the doors in the small space until you can get the box or bag clear of the doors and then closing the doors and shuffling sideways until you get to the front of the garage where there is an aisle wide enough for you and the box or bag to use to get to the door to the house. Then, back for more.

So, today, after being inspired by a family discussion wherein I was duly embarrassed for leaving the garage so full of junk that everyone hates getting in and out of the truck, I cleaned out the garage...just enough to widen the space on the sides of the truck to be able to open all 4 doors all the way and carry stuff. I threw out some old plastic boxes, mostly yucky filthy ones; some absolute garbage; and then even a bunch of small boxes of various sizes that I had saved. I moved some things around on the shelves along the front wall of the garage and was able to fit the huge robot-mower boxes up there. They do need to be stored in case we need to send the robot to camp...

It was a grand success and will make life easier in the garage. We still have to sell the college refrigerator and the wetsuit to clear the space in front of the car to make it easier to walk around the front of the car when it's parked in there. But, this was progress, and some garbage was removed without any regrets!

Thanks to Elissa for her help! I couldn't have moved the big boxes up onto the shelves without her help, but she went further than that, rolling up her sleeves after the box was moved and getting me to see to finishing the job of making all that space.

It was 100 degrees outside today. We didn't look at the temperature in the garage. It would have scared us back into the house!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some Days and Many Activities Later

Lots of activity this past week or maybe two, but not too much along the downsizing line.

I have fed the cat a lot! He seems to be eating excessive amounts and not gaining weight.

We went to the mountains for a week. Had a great time, in spite of a general agreement that the theme of the trip turned out to be "It could have been much worse." As in "it could have been 95 degrees instead of about 90 degrees during the hours between noon and 6 pm each day, even though the weather charts we had used to plan the trip had indicated that the high would be 80 degrees." As in "it could have rained more than 2 evenings, each storm leaving us wallowing in mud 2 inches thick under our shoes and having to carry the dog to the tent or clean her muddy feet with a towel before allowing her in." As in "the car could have been stuck for longer than a half hour in the mud and could have even required some kind of rescue." As in "the rattlesnake that crawled under my chair in the campsite could have..."

We did downsize by one leaky, ripped, poorly designed tent and one ripped and frayed tarp. The tarp covered the load in the back of the pickup on the way. It ripped along a seam close to the rear of the truck, in a line parallel to the tailgate. We drove all the way with the top layer of the tarp ballooning up about 2 feet. Fortunately, there was a layer of tarp under the ripped one that did not rip and did protect the load from the rain along the way, for the most part.

I have been thinking about my downsizing project. Mostly, I keep thinking how much I would rather be creating something that will turn lucrative or entering an exciting paid position somewhere fabulous. But I do feel that my work is ready for me at home. I started reading "Getting Things Done." I hope to get it finished soon and start a grand list of things. I keep thinking of things to put on the list, big things like paint the house and small things like...well, I really ought to get that list started, because even though I know I have thought of a lot of things to put on my list, I am drawing a blank right now.

I will probably spend the rest of this week and next getting ready for other things, including a dinner party with friends and a trip to my high school reunion. We're making Indian food, which will require much cookbook perusal and perhaps some shopping, and of course long conversations on the phone and via email. And, of course, I have to get away and go to my high school to see one person I really want to see, 4 or 5 I have fond feelings for, and 60 or so that I have no feelings for. I did think it would be good to get away and especially go to the beach, when I made the reservation in May. That was before quitting my job and going camping. But, I am looking forward to the trip. The socializing and the beach. And reading in the plane. It will be nice to not be driving!