Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ups and Downs. And then Up. Always Up
After a life of ups and downs our garage door died a sad and tragic death last week. It died in the up position. We can open the door, but we can't close it. At least not automatically. You can pull it down to close it. But this door remains when of the few wooden garage doors in the history of garage doors and weighs about as much as my Honda. It takes both me and Husband to close the door, and even then it's not closed all the way.

It's been like this for a week and it's amazing how annoying it is. Typically I park in the garage, which I haven't been able to do. So I park on the street. We do have a driveway, but it's nose-bleedingly steep and I live in fear of the parking brake on my 10 year old car going and Anubis (my car) rolling down the driveway, across the street, and crashing into the house across the way.

OK, so parking on the street is a minor annoyance. Except that I'm spoiled not having to carry bags of groceries up the hill, up the steps, and through the house. I'm used to being able to park in the garage and go straight into the kitchen. It's also hard going to the shelter because I have "shelter shoes" that never leave my car and, usually, I pull into the garage and close the door. Take off my shoes, leave my clothes out there, and come into the house and go immediately into the shower. Some of our shelter cats are sick and I want to do all I can to make sure I don't infect Cipher (the World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm).

I also haven't used my house key in 15 years because I come in through the garage. Last week, when I first started having to come through the front door, I actually didn't know where my house key was. I has to stand on the porch and take everything out of my purse to find it.

It's amazing, though, how dependent we become on something as obscure as an automatic garage door. Until we get a new door (and it's looking like that won't happen until next week) it's not life as usual. We have to go through the house to take the garbage out. I have to get all wet and cold heading into and out of my car on my way into the world. I'm shopping lighter because I don't want to take three trips from the street to the house carrying heavy things like a gallon of milk or a 15-lb box of cat litter.

Today a guy came by to give an estimate on the door. Here's a man who has spent his entire life installing and fixing garage doors. What an obscure way to make a living. He's in his late 60s and this is his entire business. Garage doors. Not one of those careers you dream of when you're a little kid. I want to be an astronaut. I want to be a cowboy. I want to install garage doors. And yet he seems quite happy with his business and I'm quite happy that there are people like him so that some day I can park in my garage again.

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