Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Garage Poltergeist

“Dee, write a memoir,” a Minnesota friend suggests.
            “Why? My life’s so ordinary.”
            “My life’s ordinary,” she counters. “Yours is interesting.” Stunning moment.
            I toss around the idea and even set to writing. But rather quickly I stop. Too much work. And somehow, my life seems boring in the telling.
            Then another friend suggests a blog. Ah. A post whenever a story from the past  moseys to the street corner of my mind and announces, “Tell ‘em about me! I’m a humdinger.”
            So that’s what this blog’s going to be—the story of my life as moments present themselves to me. We’ll move together from convent to cats to Meniere’s Disease to edging into the 21st century. Back and forth. No trying to be sequential. Just meandering.
            Let’s begin.
            I used to live in an 1870 house with a 1907 dilapidated garage at the side of the yard. No matter what the weather, I’d be carrying groceries from way back in that yard to the kitchen.
            Recently I moved to a 2002 house with an attached garage. Think of it. A garage attached to the house. Twenty-first century for sure. (I’m not even going to talk about the marvel of a dishwasher. That’s for another time.)
            My brother and his family gather on the driveway to greet me. We explore the house. Then he hands me the garage-door opener: Lock this way; open this way. Simple enough I think. (I immediately name the opener “Sesame.”)
            The family leaves around midnight. Within minutes my cousin and a friend show up. We settle on the bedroom carpet—the furniture won’t come for three more days—and talk about my drive down that day.
            Around 2 a.m., I lead them to the kitchen and open the connecting door. With a flamboyant flourish of my hand I proclaim, “And here’s my attached garage!” I invite their oohs and aahs at the wonder of it. They struggle to find something to say about an attached garage; I lean against the wall, expectant.
            Just then the garage door opens. What the heck happened? I examine the door but what do I know about the personality of an attached garage and its opener? I lean back against the wall while the three of us consider possibilities. The door comes down. But before it can grab hold of the floor, it heads back up again. Then it changes its mind and starts back down.
            I’m still just leaning against the wall watching this strange phenomenon. What if this keeps happening? How will neighbors sleep with this racket? And what about me? Anyone could get into the house. I’ve left a place of safety for this. Suddenly the 21st century doesn’t seem so tempting.
            I’ve collapsed against the wall in bewilderment. My cousin and friend seem equally perplexed.
            I call my brother. He answers groggily. Always helpful, he comes over. By this time the door has done its hokey-pokey several more times.
            He questions me, then asks for the opener.
            Where had I put it? Oh, yes, in my pocket.
            All of you who have attached garages know what was happening. The opener doesn’t just accept finger taps. A hip bump will do.
            My cousin, our friend, and I giggle. My brother just shakes his head. After he leaves, I feel foolish for a moment and then excited. Perhaps this is an omen. Maybe the 21st century is going to be filled with laughter. Adventure. Creativity. (I did sort of figure I’d unwittingly been fairly creative with that opener.)
            One can only hope. 


  1. Nina here... a Cartalk caller had a similar problem with her car windows going up&down with no regard for the weather or passenger's attire.. as do our and neighbor's garage doors at random remote requests!! Do you suppose its an AUTO-immune deficiency:)) tsk-tsk

  2. Dee, I LOVE the fact you're doing a blog. Writing about your life, letting us get to know you better. I first met you after you wrote and I read Dulcy's Story. I called you on the phone. You were so kind to chat with me. Dulcy is still one of my favorite books. You wrote with so much heart. I will be a regular visitor to your blog. Blessings.

    Roberta Brown
    Naples, Florida

  3. The house we've been in for the last 22 years came with attached garage and openers. My previous and only other house was old, everything detached, and nothing automatic, so although I was a youngun when I moved into this house, I was still so impressed and expected others to be as well. I was disappointed to discover that garage door openers had been invented well before 1988!

  4. I'm so glad you're doing this blog! It's a wonderful way to share your stories, and you're off to a great start. (What a good writer you are!) I really enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to more.


  5. Dee, when I read your post I felt as thought we were sitting at your dining room table, just like old times. I'll be looking forward to every post!
    Mary Beth Jambor

  6. Love this story! And I'm eagerly awaiting many, many more.

    Welcome to the blogosphere, my friend.

  7. Dee,

    I love the blog. I found myself laughing throughout this story. I could actually picture John's face as he came to your aide. I am so looking forward to reading many more entries from your blog!

    Much Love,

  8. Dee,

    I'm so glad you're writing a blog, and I look forward to your posts: past, present, and future.

    Love to you,

  9. I'm so glad you're doing a blog! I feel like I'm sitting at your house listening to stories. :)
    I can't wait to be home again so I can sit in your living room and talk with you, or maybe rearrange that garage of yours!
    I can just picture how your face looked as the door opened and closed. :)

    Love you!

  10. Oh, this is hilarious, Dee! And you absolutely do have a wonderful way with words, a delightfully fresh way of looking at things and turning them into a jolly good story! I have some catching up to do on your posts, since I've only just found you...but I'm hooked! You'll be hearing from me often ;)

  11. Dee this is priceless. I thought you were going to say you were leaning against the door opener on the wall. haha What happened was even better. I do stuff like this all the time. In fact now I have a post to write that is about how I got trapped in my attached garage. Thanks for reminding me.

  12. Just taking a look at the "before" I read you.....

  13. And here I sit in my 1870's house and enjoying immensely every last word! Tomorrow I'll read 'June' posts!