Moving in or Moving Out?

Standing in our garage, I saw the well-dressed young man walk up our driveway.
“Are you moving in or moving out?” he asked, pointing to the pile of packing boxes stacked up near the front of the garage.

“Neither,” I said, “we’ve lived here more than two years.”
He stammered around for a bit, realizing he had said the wrong thing to a guy with a messy garage.
Then he said, “I’m not here to sell you anything.”
Uh, oh, I thought, he must be from one of those religious groups that come through the neighborhood from time to time, handing out leaflets.
 I couldn’t quite make out what it said on the name tag he was wearing.
“We’ve got a team in the neighborhood conducting a survey,” he said, launching into a spiel that could mean only one thing: He was trying to sell me something.
Soon, he got around to how with all the crime in New Albany, he was surveying the neighborhood about security. He wanted to know if my neighbors or I had security alarm systems.
Golly, I thought, he must think I just fell off a turnip truck.
First, we hardly have any crime in New Albany, and second, who would answer that kind of question?
“We’ve got three dogs,” I quipped.
He said something about dogs not being a good security system just as our son, Joe, came out the door with our Boston terrier on a leash. Sophie, who showed up at our house bloodied, scarred and homeless, started barking and lurching forward, straining at the leash. Sophie isn’t fond of strangers on our property.
He retreated down the driveway.
Somehow, I’ve gotten off topic. This column was supposed to be about the progress we’ve made on the boxes and boxes of stuff in our garage.
Several months ago, Joe and I put up two large peg boards on the garage walls. But we were so tired and sore from that chore that we never got around to buying any hooks to actually use them.
So we finally did it. Well, actually Jenny and I unpacked some of the boxes marked “garage” that the movers left two years ago.
But Joe did the meticulous work of placing each broom, rake and gardening tool on one wall, and all of the household tools on another. Each wrench, hammer and screwdriver has its place.
He did it quickly, and when he was done, it looked like it was all placed according to a well-thought-out plan. Just the thought of doing it gives me a headache.
We’re so proud of the peg boards that we’ve invited a neighbor or two over to see them. So far, they’ve been gracious enough not to ask how we’ve managed to live here two years without unpacking most of the tools.
Have I mentioned that “handyman” is not a word Jenny generally would use to describe me?
The tools look nice, though. And now we’re down to fewer than 20 boxes of stuff still stacked in the garage.
Cars in the garage by Christmas? That’s our new goal.
 Maybe even by Christmas, 2012.

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at publisher at