A few weeks into the pandemic our garage became an additional living and workspace. We did not insulate it or technically convert it into an official room. There wasn’t any time or money for that. I shuffled around some junk, laid down some previously used area rugs and popped open a couple of folding tables.
For a while, like many other teachers out there, part of the garage became a virtual classroom space during the very strange era of online learning. After that was all over, I was emotionally ready to erase all of those memories if I could help it. I dismantled the computer station and put everything away that reminded me of teaching on Zoom.
In October, Covid “found” our family. My kids and I had to quarantine together for 10 days. We instantly flashed back to the feeling of March 2020 and had to get creative again while being stuck in the house. The garage became our daily hangout spot.
Garage 2.0 is a much more peaceful place in comparison to the Zoom days. The setup still works really well for us, family dog included.
During the morning hours and daytime, especially if it’s sunny, the natural light hits really nicely and it’s actually pretty calming. We use the table spaces for creativity and crafting and activities. Devices can easily be plugged in for various needs (blogging, gaming, and yes sometimes some light work).
There are options for the younger child to play and make a quick exit to the backyard to run around. The dog follows suit when she needs to get her energy out. The older child and I have really enriching (and often silly) conversations about life across the table while she sketches and crafts. I know she will be moving on from her mother in different ways come next year when she begins middle school, so I truly treasure our garage time.
It’s drafty and chilly. There are holes in some parts of the drywall. Despite the hiss of a probably almost expired water heater along with some street traffic and light neighborhood noise, it’s generally quiet. There isn’t proper wiring for traditional fluorescent garage lighting to be hooked up so we have been using floor and desk lamps in the evening. I constantly wrangle our general family junk collection and off-season equipment in an effort to organize and reorganize. The routine is somewhat therapeutic for me.
Yes, it could probably use a lot of work and more general maintenance, but I am thankful that I can call the garage one of my current favorite spots in the home.
■ Elementary Educator for Equity & Cultural Responsibility
■ Collector of Small Moments & Thrifty Finds
■ Wife & Mother
■ Bay Area, CA