It was a two car garage that never saw a car parked in it, but if you ever needed anything, it was in Grandma's Garage.
This garage was stacked floor to ceiling with everything you could imagine. Boxes of all sizes packed with everything from Christmas decorations (72 boxes of them!) to out of season, out of size clothes. Brand new garbage cans packed tightly with sheets of all sizes and towels. Cans of Folger's coffee (at one point 72 pounds of it). Christmas presents bought throughout the year and hidden away on the top shelf, away from Grandkids' prying eyes. Cases of toilet paper. Mementos from long ago.
I wish I had a picture of it, because no one ever believes my stories.
One year, my dad was invited to a friend's wedding. He told my grandma he was going to buy them a Crock Pot (something new that came out that year). Grandma asked him what color he wanted. Yep--out in the garage there were several...
Grandma worked at a local department store. One time, the store sent someone out to her house and to buy back several cases of the toilet paper she had in the garage. It was a great sale and they had run out.
Grandpa always said it cost him $3.00 a day for her to work there.
He was probably right.
The garage was a magical place. There was just enough room in the center that we grandkids would play out there when the weather didn't allow us outside. But, never ever, during the height of Christmas season. Then, there just wasn't enough hiding spaces for all the presents she thought she needed to buy. Of course, there were seven grandkids, so it took a lot of hiding spaces.
Going off to college was a breeze. I just shopped Grandma's Garage for the dorm life essentials: sheets, towels, coffee pot, coffee. She tried to send toasters and crock pots with me, but the college didn't want us having cooking supplies.
Grandma died in December of my junior year. That night, when we all gathered in her kitchen, the tears fell and laughter rang through the house as we talked about her. At one point my dad and aunt got up and began going through the pockets of Grandma's aprons. You see, she also hoarded money. And she kept it in the pockets of her ever present apron.
The following summer, it was time for a garage sale. And we began going through the garage. All of took what we needed--sheets and towels, coffee pots and crock pots. And the rest went up for sale. We found some things that made us laugh. There was an oak doll bunk bed set that I remembered getting for Christmas one year. Grandpa told us she couldn't find one when it came time to wrap presents, so she went out and bought another.
Even now, 35 years later, I have things from Grandma's garage. Embroidered dish towels that I won't use, remnants of towels I use for rags, tablecloths put out on special occasions, a set of dishes. But it's the Christmas decorations that have really stood the test of time. And every year, when I put them out, I think of her and her seventy two boxes of decorations.