The last winter I got to garage my car was in 1995. After that, not only did my wife fill half of our two-car garage with her garden gear, she claimed female privilege and filled the other half with her car. So my car was relegated to the driveway and I faced daily scraping all winter. And then after we split I spent a few years without a garage, and then I bought this storage-challenged house. Everything that didn’t fit? In the garage.
This season, the snows came early – and something inside me snapped. 15 straight years of gouging ice off my windshield! I will not make it 16!
I got ruthless with my excess stuff. One big pile from the garage went to Goodwill and another went to the curb. The car still wouldn’t fit, so I moved a bunch of tools and gardening equipment to the shed out back. Finally, I screwed hooks into the ceiling and hung the bikes. And with that, I drove my car in for the first time since I moved here more than three years ago.
And it is glorious! Every morning, I go from my warm house to my warm garage (the furnace is out there). My car starts easily and runs smoothly because it doesn’t have to fight the freezing cold. And when the ice storm hit last month I was mercifully spared from having to blast two inches of ice off my car – including breaking the car free from the driveway, to which it certainly would have been frozen.
But it’s a tight fit. The passenger-side doors open only a few inches before striking the wall, rendering them useless. The rear driver-side door won’t open all the way either, thanks to my workbench, but if my sons contort themselves a little bit they can get in.
My house was built in 1969. Consider that year’s Chevy Impala, a common family car. It was a whopping 18 feet long and almost seven feet wide – more than four feet longer and about a foot wider than my Toyota. And so I ask: Who in his right mind would build such a tiny garage in 1969? The Impala would fit in my garage only if I emptied it – no shelves, no workbench, no washer and dryer. And I would have to be super careful driving the Impala in and out, as it is almost as wide as the door!
The couple who built this place must have owned a Volkswagen Beetle!
Actually, I wouldn’t mind having the Impala. I love classic cars. Check out my visit to a big muscle car auction.