It happens every so often when the earth, moon and stars align. It is one of the most cherished things any car junkie could ask for. A whole weekend to yourself, out in the garage unencumbered, is like your own personal holiday.
I was fortunate enough to have one such weekend recently, and I couldn’t have been happier. There were no kids, no obligations, no distractions and the cell phone was set to silent. It was just me and my project car and a whole lot of time to get my hands dirty. For those of you out there that do not have children, this is a rare opportunity that is almost as magical as finding a leprechaun riding a unicorn throwing winning lottery tickets in the air like candy at a parade.
There is something to be said for being able to work on something you love and loving the process. With reciprocating saws and grinders shrieking, the sparks flew and the floor became black with iron. Even though I wrestled, wrenched and grunted my way through seized bolts and uncooperative suspension pieces, there was always a smile on my face. I accepted the challenges before me and relished the chance to put my ideas to metal. This is what makes the car hobby fun for me. I understand that some may view the thought of finding joy in dealing with frustration and struggle kind of odd. I guess I am just one of the die-hards that are wired that way. Or perhaps a better explanation would be, wired with a slight short-circuit.
After putting in 12-hour days of fabrication and wrenching on the old tetanus barge, I headed into the house to clean up and retire to bed exhausted. I have always judged the fruit of my labors by not how much I had crossed off my “to do” list, but how filthy I leave my shower floor. If it required a good scrubbing after I had cleaned up, I would consider it a good day’s work. If you are into working on cars you will probably agree: Gojo and Lava smell better to me than any cologne. Also, who needs a fancy salon? Mechanics exfoliate all the time after they are done working. (*Disclaimer) Keep in mind this might not be the prevailing opinion of your better halves.
All in all there are very few places finer than your own garage with a chunk of time at your disposal. It is therapeutic and productive all at the same time. I understand there are people who work in garages for a living and might not see what all the fuss is about. Even then, I see the merit of retreating to the home garage because the work is on your own car and not on someone else’s. For those of us who work outside the automotive repair business, working on something else affords us an escape from our 9 to 5 demands. It is easy to clear your mind and focus on a singular task and let the other nonsense be put on the backburner for another day. If by chance you find yourself with some spare time in the garage consider yourself lucky. Time working on your car is time well spent and is therapy for the soul.