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My kingdom for a twostall garage!

My kingdom for a twostall garage! My kingdom for a twostall garage!

When it comes to having a good overnight parking spot, it’s never more important than during the depths of a Wisconsin winter. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you can simply pull your vehicle into an enclosed garage at the end of the day, and not have to worry about the snow and ice lurking just outside. If you’re even luckier, you have a remote car-starter that gets your vehicle all warmed up in the morning before you even leave the house.

On the flip side, if you are forced to keep your car or truck outside in the elements, you need to keep that ice scraper within arm’s length of the driver’s seat at all times. And, your rear defroster better work well, or forget about backing up without hacking away at a fresh coat of heavy frost every morning. If enough snow falls at once, I recommend using a shovel to clear the top of the car (I’ve already had to do this once this winter).

My wife and I have one garage stall to share between the two of us, so we’re constantly reshuffling our cars based on who leaves first and comes home last every day. We used to have an empty spot on the side of our garage, so at least we didn’t have to park one another in, but that spot is no longer available.

Now, whoever arrives home last has to pull in behind the overhead garage door, blocking the other car inside. Likewise, whoever leaves first in the morning also has to take the outside car first. Oftentimes, this person is me. Thus, all that talk about scraping ice and such.

Another result of our unique parking arrangement is the need to switch cars when necessary. Last night, for example, I arrived home first, just minutes before Linda, and her car was the one left outside. Since I left first for work this morning, I had to take her car, and she will be taking my car when she leaves for work.

Somewhere in here is a lesson about the nature of marriage. Really, once you take those vows, there is no more “mine” and “hers.” Legally, it’s all shared property, and on a conceptual level, I have no problem with that. But, on a practical level, we still each have our own vehicle.

I realize this every time I have to readjust the seat, shift the rear-view mirrors and get the radio tuned to the “right” station. I also felt compelled to do a full interior cleaning of Linda’s car a couple weeks ago, simply because I didn’t think I’d be able to find the vehicle registration and proof of insurance if I happened to get pulled over.

Again, the preciousness of a reserved, indoor parking spot cannot be overstated. After the last couple winters, living in a house with a two-stall garage is now one of my bucket list items. Until then, I’ll be keeping the ice scraper handy and two sets of keys within reach.