Sometimes it is a little lacking in “maleness” around here. For crying out loud even the dog, cat and rabbit are girls. Only girls in this house, and girl things. In some ways it is nice, having my own space and not having to share it, but sometimes you just like to see those tell-tale traces of “man-ness”. So I take the camera and I poke my nosey neighbor nose into my Grandfather’s garage. My eyes adjust to the dim light, feel the coolness of the concrete beneath my feet, take in the scent of wood and gasoline. I pick up the camera and I shoot……and then I sit, Pandora streaming me some sweet tunes, a cup of tea steaming in front of me, the glow of the computer washing over me and I edit until the late hours of the night, trying to recreate the smells and the light and the feel of what reminds me of why I love this place so much, the sheer masculinity of it all.
My grandfather’s tractor, given to him by my Grandmother, she put a GREAT big bow on it. He bought a new bright orange Kubota this year, but this old faithful remains his favorite.
It seems to me (or at least in my experience) you can walk into any man’s garage and find these things laying out on the bench, screwdrivers, pliers and a pencil, usually orange.
I wonder how old these jars are and what they held. Were the contents originally intended for my mother’s mouth, or my own? What seems like a simple reuse now catches my eye and it looks more comforting, more beautiful than any jar or crate to be found in any store.
This last one caught my eye as I turned to leave. It was perfectly set up, I could not have done better. The fishing pole angled, the weight dropping down, the crab pot and the tongs beside it, and the light pushing golden hues through the window.
My father taught me to drive my first nail, how to hold boards securely. My step-father’s shed housed the tractor and the piles and piles of wood that we had all stacked together. My memories hold tight to a time when I was leaning against a door frame watching my husband sketching and cutting and building. But my grandfather’s garage, it is always the same, the smell of old wood, of gasoline and the faint lingering scent of Old Bay.