Before our current place, before all the plants and greenhouses and getting roped into tandem mowing, we used to live in a small suburb house.
But we still had our adventures.
Back then, my husband still had his plethora of tools, but everything went into the garage instead of having a shop like he does now. Tools and car parts were everywhere; miscellaneous house tile in one corner; some electrical stuff along the back wall.
So where did the cars go? In the small driveway. No matter the weather.
As you can imagine this made car repairs interesting.
Once he needed to replace a timing belt in the middle of winter. Not only that, it was snowing.
“This needs to be done,” he said.
“I need to be warm,” I rebutted.
He thought for a moment. Then his eyes lit up—always a sign that my evenings were going to get longer.
He rummaged in the garage until he found a small pop-up event tent. While the flakes were coming down and seeding the driveway, we set up that tent top over the hood of the car and a few feet in front to keep us from getting snowed on. I put heavy items from inside the garage (car parts I didn’t know names too) on the legs so the tent would (hopefully) not blow away should the wind pick up.
Then my husband brought out his torpedo heater. He drug the extension cord through the snow and turned it on. That flame made sitting under that tent bearable while he worked on repairing the belt and I helped with moving things around and holding parts out of the way. I was still dressed in coat, scarf, and gloves, watching the snow fall around us and melt in front of the flame.
My husband kept ginning. “Think about it as a working winter vacation, enjoying the snow.”
“I’d rather enjoy it through a window.”
“It’s more authentic out here.”
It took him a few hours to do his thing and put the car back together, then we put everything back inside and retreated to the warmth of the house. That tent worked as a shelter-in-place for other weather conditions over the years.
But that time in the snow stuck with me. It stuck with me so much in fact that when he had his shop built at our current house, my requirement was it had to be big enough to fit all his tools and car parts, plus big enough to pull a car in.
He looked at me. “Snow?”