I have been very busy, hence the unusual lag in my updating the blog. I’ve been doing three separate things for the most part: putting my next book together, cleaning and painting the garage, and hurting like never before.
First, I’m working on my next book which is unlike anything I’ve ever done. My niece (actually she is my GREAT niece) is doing unique stick-figure illustrations for every page. Speaking of every page, each will contain a brief sentence or two and that’s it. Like I said, nothing like I’ve ever done before. This book—at least much of the material for it—has been sitting around in my file drawer for at least 15 years and it is finally coming to life. More about all this in a posting coming to this site in the near future.
Next, I’ve been purging almost 20 years’ worth of “stuff” that has magically accumulated in my garage. This project started with the windows and just “took off from there.” The windows—two of them—face the front of the house and include a set of old narrow horizontal blinds. Since I don’t go checking around the garage to see what needs cleaning, these windows have somehow built up a good supply of gook, gunk, dirk and lots of pesky spider webs. They looked pretty bad.
I went to the store and bought brand new blinds for them. Then, after I took down the old fixtures, I realized the windows really needed painting, not just cleaning. The windows are set in holes cut out of the cinder block and concrete walls. If you paint them, you really have to paint the entire wall…which means you have to paint the other adjacent two walls (the fourth wall is the garage door).
So, the BIG project begins. Installing the blinds went incredibly easy, considering I was doing it. For me, playing the role of “Mr Home Repair Guy” usually involves multiple trips to the hardware, several miscalculations or “duhhhh” moments, and a small injury or two to both my body and whatever it is I’m attempting to repair. But this time is different—everything was perfect. I was not once blind-sided.But the issue became the walls, and later the floor, and not the windows.
I have shelves on every wall—wherever I could fit them. These are filled with all kinds of stuff, all of which has to be lifted off, moved somewhere while I paint the wall and then returned back again. After the walls, comes the floor. As with the shelves I have tons of stuff around the perimeter of the floor. The floor has to be de-greased and primed, then painted. What to do with all the stuff on the floor? There are only two places for it: stick it anywhere there is a stickable place on the shelves and the rest goes in the house. So, more lifting and hauling.
I am three weeks into this project. Today I begin to clean the floor. It’s empty for the first time in over 15 years. This is no simple accomplishment. Meanwhile, I’ve redecorated the downstairs of the house in the very stylish and trendy neo-eclectic garage motif (above). Several major magazines have shown interest in coming to photograph the interior and do a spread in an upcoming issue.
What has been amazing with all this has been…the pain. I cannot believe how much things have changed over the years. Or, actually, how much my body has changed. A garage project 25-30 years ago would have taken me less than a week and I would have suffered only minor bruising and maybe even a small cut or two. Right now I look like I’ve been in major combat with Godzilla and that’s only the outside of my body. Inside, just about every muscle and joint has filed a complaint at headquarters demanding a work stoppage. They’re even talking about unionizing.
Something tells me this will be my last major home do-it-yourself project. The proverbial “I’m too old to be doing this” has kicked in solidly and I shall heed its advice. And here I thought I was going to tear up the carpeting upstairs and put down hardwood. Right.