“Look at all this junk!” Those were the words of my 3year old grandson, Ryan, as he walked past the open door of our garage. As they say, “Out of the mouths of babes”…
I can’t remember the last time we could fit a car in there. The overstuffed packrat garage is a common phenomenon in America, but it’s especially bad in our case, due to our not having a basement to absorb much of the college stuff that comes and goes each year.
Then there is the stuff that is valuable, but can’t quite fit into the graduate’s new apartment. I have to patiently wait for the adult child to marry and move into a real house before I can dump the plastic bins full of college textbooks, notebooks and papers. I also contribute at least one bin per kid of childhood memorabilia, school papers, art work, and special toys.
We are in a holding pattern right now. The two oldest are married, living in their own homes, and now have their respective bins in their basements. The middle son is getting married, but it will be some time before they are able to purchase a house. The next one down is in his own apartment, but I still have his stuff, including an annoyingly large water gun that keeps getting thrown around the garage. Finally, in terms of children, my college student daughter with the pile of dorm junk that grows each year.
My husband is a major contributor to the packrat problem, but I won’t talk behind his back. After all, he finances this operation.
You would think that I would have a positive attitude toward the existence of a light at the end of the tunnel. There is no light as far as the garage goes – only more junk – because I have a growing tribe of grandchildren and twice in the last month I stumbled upon neighborhood garage sales. Now I also have two bikes for the kids to ride when they visit, an extra stroller, and courtesy of my sister, who never believed in buying a gift that weighed less than the child, we have an electric car with which they can run over each other.
My family room is not the smartly furnished, cozy den that I envisioned having when all the kids were grown. The furniture is the same only more worn and stained and now I have a plastic kitchen in the corner with all of the related plastic pans, a tub of blocks, tubs of Legos, and a pile of puzzles.
In the words of Yogi Berra, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
Yes, “Look at all this junk!”