Monday, October 15, 2018

Game On

We worked in our garage last weekend, on what were, I believe, the last two hot days of the year. Isn't that how it can go sometimes? The garage organization is really the last big piece to fall into place at the new house. In 2017, I stumbled onto a blog post that showed using The Container Store elfa System and fell in love with it. It then became a cat and mouse game of getting it designed and waiting for their fall sale that offers the discount on installation as well as the elfa shelving. We got to the purchase point and then installation day came and went, and we were left to work in the garage on our days off to get all of the items put into their new home. And oh my mercy, do I love my new garage storage system, or what? I may have gone out and just stared at it a few days this week.

But sometimes the getting to where you want to be from where you are involves a little blood, sweat, and tears. In this garage organization project, surprisingly, it involved two of the three. If I bled, I don't remember it. See, sitting in my garage, waiting to be gone through and dealt with for years now, were about 5 bins of memorabilia. These bins of memorabilia were in our last garage, so it's not like I haven't been avoiding the obvious for years now. But, right sizing the house has us dealing with things that a big expansive home can hide and handle. Less square footage? You prioritize and deal, and purge and divest. 

And while Steve triaged the bins of actual items to stay in the garage and sorted out what was already quasi-organized into a seasonal sort of semblance, I sat with my bum knee, and he would bring me bins to go through. I think one bin held both 4K and 12th grade for my oldest son, and some years in between. That bin was certainly one to go through. Not only did I deal with school and art work, I dealt with years and years of Christmas cards. It's amazing how the range of emotions can be connected to seeing a card from a long deceased aunt, or  neighbors from 1999, or high school friends from the 1980's. 

And while I sat in that hot, steamy garage working through all of these pieces of paper and the memories and emotions associated with them,  I actually had moments of just recalling and remembering our various homes and our various garages. Quite candidly I will advise you - never go from a home with a three car garage to a home with a two car garage! Those three car garages spoil you! We have had attached garages, detached garages, the old house in McAllen with NO garage {this was the worst!}; all of the garages were two car garages, with our prior home being the exception with that beautiful third bay. 

Some of these garages held two cars, and not much more. Some of these garages held tricycles and that battery operated Jeep the boys were so cute riding around in. Some of these garages held bicycles that we used to condition ourselves for the walking on our first trip to Walt Disney World. Some of these garages held ski equipment and golf equipment and lots of tools, all seldom used, but somewhat necessary to hang onto. And one of these garages momentarily held a ping pong table.

I will confess that I love giving surprises. I love giving what is on a wish list, but I like to throw in a little extra. And one year I got the brilliant idea that the boys should get a ping pong table for Christmas. This was exactly what they needed as a surprise gift! And ever the adoring husband, he supported my surprise. I envisioned lots of ping pong games, and laughter, and time together. The boys were still in middle school, and we were often the gathering place for their friends. This would be perfect, yes?

Well, in the mayhem that followed Christmas Day, we didn't get around to putting it together until New Years Eve {and by we I mean they}. ;-) And at the time, the only place it would fit was in the garage. It was a fun evening. I remember it was, of course, cold in the garage, but the boys were interested and helpful to their dad and the three of them quickly got it put together. 

They were funny to watch play. Steve and I both come from families that love to game and compete, and win. Competitiveness is bred into our sons, I guess. I especially love the grimace I caught on Philip's face in the photo on the right. Seems like he might have just been bested on that shot, or was working up some fierce serve. We played off and on that New Years Eve, and after Steve's schedule settled down, the ping pong table made its way up to the boys' retreat. It dominated the room. The boys at this point had taken over the family media room and watched their TV and movies and gamed in there, so the ping pong table commandeering their retreat was fine.

I didn't expect the ping pong table to be such a flop though. It was. It was a catch all for things. The electronics' siren call dominated the time, and it wasn't often that you could hear the cadence of the ball going back and forth, and ultimately bounding onto the hardwood floor and skittering around. Unretrieved ping pong balls became the cat's toys, and were often accidentally squished under the size 12 shoes that bounded around up there. If someone did want to play, it was hard to find those ping pong balls that had been neglected and more than likely squished.

Sometimes you try something and it isn't what you expect, or it doesn't turn out like you planned. When I was younger, guessing incorrectly would have bothered me more. While this ping pong table reality didn't leave up to my fantasies about it, it's no big deal. The times we used it and had fun with it were worth the hassle and inconvenience of carting it upstairs, and ultimately back down. 

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You can never know until you try. And if modeling anything to my sons was paramount, it was that it was okay to try new things. And succeed. Or fail. It was okay to adapt and adjust. And in life, you sometimes need to just roll up your shirtsleeves and try. You might win or you might lose, but you get one shot at this thing called life. You may as well go for it. Game on.

Ping Pong ~ Garage Gaming ~ December 31, 2009 

Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation
Paper: Simple Stories
Title: Silhouette cut file