I spent most of yesterday in my shop working on my old Ford truck. While I was building a chicken coup I, with the help of my son, moved my truck outside the shop so I could do all the woodwork for the chicken coop. With my wife off visiting her sister for several days, I found myself in a position to work on the truck again. But with the temperatures starting off in the 20s and not making it much over 45 each day I realize I needed to get the truck back into the shop. So with a little bit of thought I was able to first pull and then push the big old truck back to my shop by using my tractor. It was a very slow process as I had to first align the front wheels of the truck into the direction that I wanted to go. If you’ve ever done that before you’ll know that if you’re going to make a strong turn the steering wheel will start to correct itself into a straighter path when pulled or pushed. So every few feet I would stop and get off the tractor and get into the truck to adjust the steering wheel. I probably did this about 20 times. Eventually, I pushed the truck into the shop without running into the shop doors or running into anything inside the shop. Once inside the shop I put some wood into my little wood-burning stove and warmed the shop up enough for me to work on the truck. I knew that in repairing my truck I would have to use either some gasket making material or some adhesive. Both of these products require the temperature to be at least over 40°. And even at 40° they are slow to cure and they did not seem to fully cure at that temperature. So it took a little while for the stove to warm up the shop enough for me to start working on the truck.
I mention all of this because the thought of the day it that it is nice to have a place to go to and work on my truck. Just like it was nice to have a place to go to on like my front porch, to view the woods and create the thought of the day. In the many homes that I’ve lived at, there’s always been a place to go to for the many things that I was interested in. For example each home had a garage, a place to go to and put my tools. A place to go to and work on my projects plus park my vehicles. Most of my homes had a swimming pool with a backyard. The swimming pools give me a place to entertain myself and others. And the backyard was for the barbecues and the pets (when they were not in the house). Most of my life has been set in a city environment. I lived near a lot of stores and restaurants. Obviously, the restaurants were a placed to go to and eat. Some were very entertaining. Up to now I live near some sort of home improvement store. At first I lived near a Lowe’s and then a Home Depot. Each month my wife would go over our budget and mention the amount of times I spent money at the home improvement stores. The store was a place to go to for the many materials I needed to finish all the projects that I started. I would be remiss if I did not mention that the location of my homes, all had some attribute to them. Some were located near work. Some were a place to go to and raise a family. And some were a place to go to and retire. When I moved to Texas from California the first house was a place to go to and fish a lot. And some of my homes were a place to go to and work on my vehicles and projects, usually a small building or a large garage.
This is the first time I’ve had a place to go to that was large enough to call a shop. Besides the obvious place to store items and tools, it is large enough to place two vehicles inside. Now that I have a tractor I can put the tractor inside and still have room for that old Ford pickup truck. After a short time I started storing the shop with personal items and items just for fun. For example in most my recent homes I had a place to put all of my certificates, diplomas and personal work items. For years I called it the “me wall”. By the time you’re my age you probably have collected a large number of appreciation letters, certifications and diplomas. On the “me wall” were pictures of me from my Vietnam days through my career with the Los Angeles Police Department. There were other places in the house to put pictures including those of my wife, my children and my family members. But it seems each time I moved I ended up boxing most of those appreciation letters, certificates and diplomas. The “me wall” got smaller until it only had enough room in the garage to put of the items. It didn’t take long before I needed the space in the garage for shelving and all of the “me wall” items were put back in boxes and stored away. Now I have some room in my shop for about a dozen of those me items to be displayed. As the shop is a metal building I had to attach some wood boards and panels and the highest areas of the shop to hang items. These areas are too high for any shelving. So now it is nice to have a place to hang my certificates and diplomas along with a couple of pictures.
In the shop I also put a small bar area along with the refrigerator to put my beer in. Up on the wall behind the bar is a neon light and under it a small plaque the states that “the man cave is open”. Below that is a picture of a very old Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Along that “me wall” in my shop I display several Harley-Davidson related items including two matching motorcycle helmets that was previously worn by my wife and I. If I had a Harley-Davidson motorcycle today it would have a placed in the shop. The shop is big enough for all kinds of equipment including a welder, a pressure washer and of course the traditional table saw. There’s enough space near the little wood-burning stove to place an old recliner and a small TV tray table. And every once in a while my wife will come out and join me in the shop at the end of the day and we will turn on some music and set down by the fire to visit.
The shop has become a place to go to for a multitude of reasons. And therefore I really appreciate the shop and the fact that I can go there and get lost into a project, that does not spill off into the house. This used to happen when the garage that I worked in was connected to the house. Of course the woods themselves are a place to go to enjoy nature, take a walk and meditate on the many issues in my mind.
Everyone needs a place to go to for all the different reasons you can imagine. Even if it’s just a particular room in your house or sitting in an old car parked in the yard, you need a place to go to.
Go to your place and be happy.