Flagler Beach Garage People

I am an observer.  I like to cruise through life slow, taking in all the sights, thinking…or just looking.  That’s why I like living here on this little sand dune. For a small space there’s a lot to see if you open your mind, your eyes and slow down.  My favorite get-around-town transport these days is ultimately the golf cart. With kiddos it allows you to conveniently consume snacks, which helps keep the journey simple and discoveries limitless.  Roaming the street the last few years I have stumbled upon some favorites …one of them a phenomenon we refer to as the Garage People.

Growing up my father hung out in the garage, especially on Sundays with his am/fm radio tuned in to the Nascar races, wearing his work boots and overalls he tinkered with odds and ends and spruced up his garden tools.  It seemed to be the middle-class generational thing for the man’s throne to be near his work bench. I always figured he was escaping the immense female energy flowing thru our halls, taking refuge among the power tools, guarding his manly scent among the wafting smells of wood shavings and motor oil.   On weekend evenings if we had guests, the men would always gather in the garage, especially when the outdoor fridge showed up, cold and stocked. The garage was the man cave before interior design shows came and decorated it.  Ours was always tidy and the only decorations I recall were of my father’s abundant baseball cap collection. I loved being in the garage, opening the little plastic drawers full of screws, nuts or washers, organizing the pickle jars full of nails, pulling out the tape measure over and over again, and being completely mesmerized by the small bubble in the level. It seemed like anything was possible in the garage. It was cool.

These days the folks who always seem to be hanging out in their garage we have nicknamed the Garage People, I recognize them as I used to be one of them.  Almost anytime you cruise by they are there…watching TV, grilling up food, listening to music or maybe hanging out with other garage people. It is the gathering space, where tales are told and hearty laughs are heard.  Sometimes when I pass by the garage people I wonder what the inside of their house looks like…is it empty or really, really clean because they are always in their garage? If they aren’t in their assumed positions I wonder if something bad happened to them…are they ill?  Do they actually have couches inside their house too? Of course these are all silly questions I ponder in my mind but I still have the thoughts, especially when it’s a nice day and I don’t see them.  Some of the Garage People now wave to us…they probably call us the driving around people.  They might wonder where we are always going and why we always seem to be traveling in a circle.

My goal is to be a garage person again… I’m much more laidback about the little things in the garage. My children can be kids and I’m not concerned about the sandy floor, sticky spills or the sparing with fake swords.  The tension in my neck melts and my mind is allowed to wander through thoughts that are nourishing to my creative being.  Being in the garage helps me keep life in perspective…anything is possible in the garage.  Otherwise I’ll just block it out by staring at the bubble in the level.