Wednesday, January 30, 2013

have you seen hansel?

You are not looking at witch's cottage in a Grimm Brothers tale.

It is my garage.  And despite its apparent flaws, it is a working garage.  It housed my car (and assorted doodads) during my sixteen year residency in the Salem house.

The garage was infirm when I bought the house in the 1990s.  Infirm enough that the realtor asked the appraiser to not include it in his report.

The roof had begun to wear.  The presence of the locally-despised English Ivy was both a blessing and a curse.  It damaged the cedar shingles.  But it also provided a natural covering where the roof had failed.

But there was an additional culprit taking its toll on the roof.  Squirrels.  Eastern gray squirrels to be accurate.  An introduced species.  Probably part of that East Coast Establishment I have been fighting all of my life.

At one point in my career, I feel into terminal yuppiedom.  I bought a red BMW convertible that I liked far too much. 

It probably received the best care I have ever afforded a car.  I washed it weekly.  Detailed it inside and out.  And housed it nightly in the garage.

Apparently, I was not the only being to love the car.  On one of my periodic trips to the dealer (where I would hand over $400 just to get it in the door), the mechanic pointed out something unusual under the hood.  All of the wiring had been stripped and every piece of rubber had been gnawed.  To the tune of $1500 or so.


From that day forward, the squirrels and I were on the same footing as Serbs and Albanians.  Initially, I was rather charmed that squirrels had chosen to take up residence in my garage.  Until they declared war.

I will spare you the details of our prolonged battles.  But Jiggs was allowed free rein to clear the back yard of the vermin.  And he performed his canine chores with glee.

For my next birthday, my brother sent me a box filled with peanuts -- and this sculpture.

He has a wicked sense of humor.  And that is one reason he is my best friend.

But today, while the super cleaning squad spent their second day cleaning my house to go on the market on Thursday, I decided to take a whack at cleaning the garage.

I straightened up the usual clutter.  Clutter created by, I suspect, gamboling rodents in the absence of The Great Squirrel Hunter. 

There was plenty of dirt.  Spruce needles.  And items not quite so easily identified.

But it felt good to be doing something useful.  It took me several hours to get the place looking like this.

I know it does not look like much.  And the hours I spent may have only a minimal benefit.  But it certainly made me feel better.

We will now see if it can charm buyers the way it once charmed the squirrels.

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