I don't like garages much. Do you? Don't get me wrong--I'd hate to be without one. No, we don't keep our cars in it, but since our house is small, we do store a lot of stuff in it, and it also serves as our laundry room. So, I think I'll keep it, but I still don't like it a whole lot.
About a month ago, I was telling my husband about a woman I know who bought a long arm so that when she retires several years from now, she'll have a way to bring in some extra money, quilting for paying customers. In the meantime, she can pay off the machine while she's still working full time and practice on her own quilts. I thought that was a smart idea. The first thing my husband said was, "We're not putting a long arm in my garage." No, honey, the last thing I'd want to do is have a long arm in the garage. Not only would it mean not being able to use the darn thing for four or five months out of the year when our temps are hovering around 100 degrees, but I think the garage is kind of creepy.
It's my belief that garages have personalities--usually malevolent ones. And ours is really mean. A few years back, my husband fell off a ladder in the garage and broke various body parts. But that's another story.
My own worst experience with the garage happened about seven years ago. I think our son had moved out--maybe to go away to college at Cal Poly--and my husband had taken our daughter out of town for the weekend to a soccer tournament. It was summer or early fall and the temperature outside was around 100 degrees or more. I had the house to myself for two days, and on Sunday morning, I was busy cleaning it. Around noon, I went out to the garage to change a load of laundry. I was still wearing my nightgown, figuring I'd take a bath and get dressed when I finished cleaning.
When I turned to come back into the house, I realized the door to the house had closed behind me, and when I tried to open it, I found it was locked! So there I was, locked in the garage in my nightgown. The only other exit was the main door out to the driveway and street. Maybe luck would be on my side, and I'd just be able to push the door open and walk out. (This was before we had replaced the old door with a new automatic door--the old door was completely manual.) With the temperature around 100 degrees outside, it was closer to 115 degrees in that garage and I was already feeling uncomfortable.
Of course, the garage wouldn't release me that easily--the door was bolted and locked on the outside. Panicked thoughts started running through my mind since I knew it would be at least four hours before anyone was expected home. By the time anyone found me, surely I'd be dead from heat exhaustion! I started rummaging through the clean laundry basket to see if I could find something to wear besides a nightgown, and I finally found a pair of my husband's Adidas nylon shorts and a T-shirt. I quickly changed and tried pushing on the garage door again.
I have to tell you that pushing on a cobwebby, spider-infested old wooden garage door was pretty darn yucky, and I would surely have given up if I thought there was any other way to get out of there. Putting my shoulder to that door, I heaved. No luck! I heaved again. And again. And again. With adrenaline and panic giving me strength, the door was starting to swing a bit, and by pushing on one side, eventually the momentum and the twisting of the door itself popped the bolt out of its casing, and the door opened. Free! I was free!
Surveying the damage, I thought my husband was likely to kill me for breaking the garage door, because I could tell that it wasn't likely to fit right ever again. But I didn't care--at least I was out! Now what? I went around the side of the garage to open the gate, but it was latched and wouldn't open. I had to pull a stool out of the garage and climb up on it so I could reach over the fence to open the gate. (I'm not sure what any neighbors thought at this point, if any were watching!)
So, at least I was able to get into my own backyard, but what about getting into the air conditioned house and taking that now MUCH needed bath? (I was SURE that I had spiders climbing around in my sweat drenched hair!) Finally luck was on my side--the sliding door onto the patio was unlocked. Ahhhhhhh! I was going to live after all, no thanks to the garage monster!
Since then, I haven't had any major trouble with the garage, but I still don't like it. And it knows it, too, I'm sure. How else would you explain why, when I got out of the bath last Sunday and carried my towel and nightgown out to the hamper in the garage, I found the main door wide open to the street? My husband swore he clicked the clicker to close the garage door when he left a little earlier that day, but there it was, as wide open as it could be, and there I was, standing in the doorway to the house, as naked as I could be. And was that a barely audible haunted chuckle coming from the dark, far corner? Darn garage demon!