The Carpenter spent all weekend cleaning out the garage. It’s the happiest I’ve seen him in ages.

Two solid days of solitude, lost in stacks upon stacks of discarded and seasonal wares. He only came inside the house for two purposes: the bathroom and coffee (you see the link, right?).

Nothing derives joy from this man more than the organization of garbage, totes, hockey equipment and tools (I’m aware this is a sad statement on our marriage).

That’s a lie. A trip to the waste-transfer station (aka the dump) also makes the Carpenter extremely happy. He will find any excuse to drive there on a Saturday morning to get rid of garbage, scraps of wood, recycling and things that probably matter to the kids but annoy him, so they magically disappear. Nobody is allowed to go with him to the dump. It’s a very personal task, apparently. It’s an exclusive club. You have to know the secret nod at the gate and have correct change. Also, you need to drive a pick-up. I believe there are tailgate parties at the dump with barbecue lunches and sports talk. I don’t have a tailgate. I don’t know the secret nod. I would never have the correct change. I would be a total disgrace, so I don’t even think of going. It’s fine. Whatever.

The garage is like a foreign land to me too. It’s like a black hole. I can see the back wall of the building so I know there is an end to this space, but I cannot fathom what exactly is in the grand expanse of the space.  I know there’s items in there I can use, but without a map and security clearance, I don’t dare enter. It’s not the mice and spiders that freak me out (freeloaders), it’s the fact that the Carpenter really believes his organization makes sense and to mess with it would break his spirit. It’s adorable, really. Do not enter.

In our quarter of a century together, my husband has never wanted us to do a garage sale. I think it’s the phrasing really. A garage sale implies getting rid of his favourite room attached to the house. A yard sale is equally upsetting, because real men love yard work (true fact). So there you have it. Our yard always needs work and our home includes a garage stuffed to the rafters with stuff that has no place to go but cannot stay here (I have relatives like that also, but that’s a touchy subject). But the minute you tell the Carpenter my mom’s Fergus Lioness Club is hosting a charity garage sale this Saturday, he’s out there moving mountains of mass accumulation like Hercules on a sugar rush.

Basically, this past weekend was like the Carpenter’s trifecta of happiness: the solitude of garage time, a solo trip to the dump in a pickup truck, plus the ultimate joy of getting rid of household treasures under the guise of supporting my mother’s fundraiser. Clever.

You see, he got his alone time, I couldn’t interfere with any of it, and he remains my mother’s favourite because he’s golden and he knows it. And oh boy, believe me, he knows it. He is that good.

You know you are in love with someone when watching their joy cleaning the garage makes you want to throw the tailgate down and serve him coffee.

And like, sit down to watch him work. Giggle. 



Kelly Waterhouse