The Great Clean Out

I am a lucky duck because of good friends -
I am a lucky duck because of good friends –

By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi 

Last Saturday a miracle occurred on a non-spiritual level:  Our garage morphed from the state of something akin to Dante’s Fourth Ring of Hell into a place of large space and order.  I am not given to rhapsodizing about garages in general, but this is truly a garage to behold when those who had seen it even a year ago despaired of it ever being cleaned.  My coping mechanism, which some may term denial, was to stride purposefully to the car and vacate the garage as quickly as possible.

The cause of this celebratory garage cleaning had its origins in a revolting revelation:  termites.  We now have round bright green cylinders surrounding our house and garage.  Midsummer, we noticed the oddest formation of sand protruding from a crack in the cement floor of the garage.  Thinking it merely some strange anthill formation, I summoned Orkin, the company that we contract with year round to treat our property for wasps.  Unfortunately, I learned that those skinny formations were termites.  The specialists treated the garage, determined we were termite free in our house, and that I thought, ended the termite caper.

When Orkin treated the garage over a month ago, unbeknownst to us, the workers had shoved everything into a huge heap on the other side of the garage.  I was at a loss at how to rid the garage of five years of buildup, for the last time the garage had been thoroughly cleaned was five years ago for my daughter’s high school graduation party.  While the trash personnel despaired of how much they had to load on their truck, we were thrilled with much improved mobility walking across, around, and in the garage.

This time I had only ten days in which to purge the garage of clutter because Orkin wanted to be more than certain we were free of those chomping invaders.  Up to the plate stepped my erstwhile Secretary, Teresa.  She is well acquainted with my disc maladies in my back and how I cannot lift much.  The sun shone brightly that last weekend of September.  She, her husband, and two of their sons arrived, and we all set to work.  It took us almost three hours, but what a difference.  Her sons hauled eight large leaf trash bags out to the trash.  We loaded both of the trash cans high with debris.  We filled the big recycling bin to overflowing.  I offered them mechanical items I no longer use, as well as a bicycle, outdoor cushions and pillows that do not jive with our new porch furniture.  We laughed and talked last Saturday while we worked.  I kept passing out large bottles of Evian to keep everyone hydrated.  I marveled at the power of friendship, for I was grateful no end at their generosity in forfeiting their Saturday afternoon to help me.  I am most grateful to them and can only continue to thank them a thousand-fold.

Now, I think I’ll take a stroll in our clean, spacious garage.

Ciao for now.




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