Outside Looking In
At least two instances within an hour of each other a couple of weekends ago turned out to be memorable. And both instances occurred in my garage.
I decided to take some time to clean out my garage; something I usually do a few times a year but have neglected it for a couple of years now.
I own a split-level home so there is a storage area under the staircase inside the west wall of the garage. That's where I store my spare screens, sporting equipment, gardening supplies and other things I don't use all year round. I removed all of those items from under the staircase so I could clean in there. I set the items on my driveway just outside the main garage door.
I then took a few hand tools out of the cabinets they were stored in so I could reorganize them. I set those tools in the driveway, too.
It was quite warm and stuffy in the garage that day, so I decided to get some air.
I grabbed a large bag of bird seed and headed to the back of the house to feed the birds, who chow down seed quicker than Joey Chestnut (Google him if you don't recognize the name).
After feeding the birds and cleaning up a few areas in my back yard, I ventured back to the garage. As I turned the corner, two ladies were standing there with their arms clutching several of the items I had lying in my driveway.
I couldn't believe my eyes. Stealing in broad daylight.
In a stern voice, I told the women to put the items down and get off of my property.
Without speaking, the women put the items down calmly. As they walked down my driveway one of the women started laughing almost uncontrollably, which upset me even more.
As they neared the end of the driveway, the woman controlled her laughter enough to turn to the other and say, "See, I told you that wasn't a garage sale."
I didn't know what to say or do. I felt like a schmuck for kicking them off my property.
It didn't even dawn on me that they thought I was holding a garage sale, especially since there was no sign indicating a sale anywhere on my lawn, nor were any of the items in the driveway marked with prices.
Feeling like a heel, I followed them to their vehicle and apologized for giving them the boot. I even gave them an old basketball that they had picked out to purchase. They both felt embarrassed, as did I. But there were no hard feelings on either side.
Two days later, the woman who was laughing that day drove by my house as I was out getting the mail. She slowed down and as she drove past me, rolled her window down and said, "When's the next garage sale?"
I could hear her laughing all the way down the street.
Things got worse
After patching things up with the two ladies, I went back to work in the garage.
My boat sits in one stall in the garage and my snowblower and lawn mower are stationed between the boat and the wall. Several rakes and shovels hang on the wall on that side, too.
As I was moving the lawnmower out of the back in order to exchange places with the snowblower (yes, I'm gambling we're done with snow), I bumped a heavy ice chopped that was hanging on a hook and it came tumbling down.
The bottom part of the chopper struck me hard about one-half inch below my right eye. It knocked me to the ground where I sat stunned for a moment or two.
The injury didn't bleed much, but left a huge welt that eventually turned a three-inch area purple about the right side of my face. The intense pain below my eye subsided within an hour or so, but the next day my jaw and teeth on both sides felt like Will Smith had paid me a visit.
For those wondering .... of course, I didn't go to the doctor. I tried some Tylenol and iced my jaw, but it didn't help. I went online and found where one website said that a jolt like that can affect the sinus cavity and cause your teeth and jaw to become quite painful. The website's recommended remedy was to put ice on the back of my neck for 15-20 minutes. I'd never heard of that in my life, but I figured it was worth a try. It started feeling better within an hour.
When I was in Minneota this past weekend, I was telling someone about my accident. She proceeded to tell me "You know what the moral to that story is? Don't clean your garage."
And I haven't.