I’m talking about my garage, of course, not a glass of water. I’m usually a ‘half full’ kind of person, but in my current situation, ‘half empty’ would be the more optimistic view. No matter how many boxes I unpack, my garage still appears to be half full. Perhaps the height of the boxy mountain is decreasing, but it’s still looking like Mt. Everest to me. I cleared a small path leading from the utility room door into the garage and down the middle, so I can squeeze into my car. Some days I don’t even bother to park in the garage. Surely no one is interested in bothering an old, small Toyota with all my bumper stickers littering, I mean decorating, the back of the car.
I don’t remember moving being such a pain the last time around though it was less than eight years ago and then we were driving halfway across the country. I had led the way in the same small car (only one bumper sticker back then) with my daughter and 3 crated cats on kitty valium. My son and his dad followed us in the moving van. It took us 2 ½ days with frequent stops to make our way from California to Texas. Compared to that move, I figured this time would be a breeze. The fire had eliminated much of my furniture and my many books had already been packed up by the restoration company. Also, I was only moving across town. How hard could it be? Turns out, hard enough. Perhaps it’s just more frustrating since I still have nowhere to put my books, pottery, and art, so there’s no sense in unpacking many of the boxes. Losing my tall wooden bookcases to smoke damage did cause me some heartache. The bookcases had served me well for many years and the wood had aged into a lovely golden color. For the new house, I decided to change it up a bit and ordered a darker stain for all the new shelving. I was buying from a local business I had used before and they build everything themselves – no outsourcing for them. So I am still waiting eagerly, though somewhat impatiently. I haven’t seen most of my books for over a year and I miss them almost as much as I would long-lost friends (fellow book nerds will understand this).
The other piece of furniture I was still waiting for was my buffet-hutch. I had bought it when I moved to Austin, having always wanted one but never having the money to indulge until then. It was modern in style and a warm golden color with wooden doors on the buffet and glass doors on the hutch to display my nicer stuff. My contractor Mark had returned the undamaged buffet months ago when I moved back to my restored house, but the hutch, with its ruined glass doors, was still at the furniture repair shop. The repair shop boss had procrastinated so long that I told Mark not to deliver it until I moved. Now I wanted it back. My new kitchen is small and I need it for storage. After several rounds of phone tag with the repair shop, Mark sent his men to the shop to demand some answers. “Where is it? We’re supposed to deliver it to the client today.” “I’ve been waiting for your company to give me the go ahead to strip down the wood and restore it. I’ll need the buffet back, too, in order to match the wood finishes.” When word of this got back to Mark he was livid! “That guy couldn’t have told us that five months ago? Now I’ve got to call the client and explain why she isn’t going to get it any time soon?” He called Bruce the insurance guy to explain the problem. Restoring it would probably come close to what the pieces were worth. Bruce let him know that the insurance would replace it unless I had a sentimental attachment to it. Mark then called me, very apologetic, to fill me in. Luckily, the client does not have a sentimental attachment to it but does like Mark enough not to get livid herself. Now I’m on the hunt for a replacement. I had already unpacked some of my stuff in anticipation of getting the hutch, so I just stacked it all on the buffet. At least I had cleared out a few more boxes in the garage. It’s beginning to look half empty now.