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Saturday, May 8, 2021

    Go Big!

    Mike Ruby
    Mike Ruby
    A Muscatine resident for over forty years, Mike Ruby had careers both as a teacher at Muscatine High school and as a writer for nonprofit companies. Now retired, Ruby continues to cultivate his love for writing by contributing monthly Ruby's Reflections to Discover Muscatine newspaper.

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    When it comes to garage size, I’m convinced bigger is better. We have an oversized, nearly 600 square foot, double car garage, but sometimes I daydream about having a larger one.

    One of the biggest drawbacks to the large craftsman style house that I grew up in was its single car garage. In addition to housing the big Oldsmobile, the garage was jam packed with the lawn mower, bikes, ladders, yard tools, garbage cans, fishing and boating gear, and even a canoe hanging from the rafters. The builder of the 1912 house probably couldn’t envision the owner ever having more than one car.

    Most homes built during the first half of the 20th century had a single car garage, either attached or detached. I’ve always been intrigued with the little ol’ ladies (or men), who could barely see over the steering wheel of their behemoth Cadillac or Buick, but successfully shoehorned their cars into a small garage without ripping off a side mirror.

    The double car garage became popular in the last half of the century. Today, it’s common for new house construction to have a 3 or 4 car garage. Makes sense to me.

    The first house we purchased in Muscatine had a single car garage. Yes, we made it work, but I always pined for a larger one. When we decided to relocate 18 years later, I was laser focused on a larger garage, a non-negotiable necessity.

    For many households, the garage is a storage place for everything except a car. The garage is bursting with stuff that won’t fit in the attic or basement. Some people keep a clean, well-organized garage, and others could be featured on TV’s “hoarding” shows. Our son-in-law, Allen, is meticulous in maintaining their 3 car garage. Every tool is sparkling clean, never out of place, and the proverbial saying, “it’s so clean you could eat your lunch off the floor,” definitely applies to him. Nobody messes with his garage!

    Our double car garage is somewhat organized with shelving and pegboard, but bikes, garbage cans, recycling containers, and ladders take up significant space. I sweep the concrete floor several times a year, but that’s about it. Jo Anne can’t get very excited about an awesome-sized garage because she knows if we had one I’d be out bargaining for a superhot sports car. Unfortunately, that’s just a pipe dream, but it’s fun to fantasize!

    What is your garage story?

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