Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Junk Yard

Yes, this is the view today out of my office window.

It is very similar to the view out our livingroom and diningroom windows, as well as my kitchen.


I’ve begged Steve to park his junk piles behind his shop. I paid hundreds of dollars to have enough space cleared behind his detached shop to park up to a dozen vehicles.

Between The Hubster’s refusal to build a functioning gate in the fence that goes around the back of his shop, and his obstinate rejection of requests to keep the parking pad in back cleared of undergrowth, his ‘projects’ dominate an otherwise beautiful view.

I don’t get it. We have a big three car shop that is totally stuffed with junk. None of the vehicles parked in front can be put into the shop. None of those vehicles are drivable for one reason or another.

Steve argues that they all do ‘run’. Okay. I will admit that you can turn the key in several of the cars and the engines may or may not start. But none, even if the license tabs were current and there was active insurance on them, can be driven to town and back.

I do want to point out that the camo Blazer K5 was fully painted by moi.

Yes, I am that good.

I love cars and trucks. I love going to auctions and shows. I love a wide range of vehicles. But completed ones. And not background view junky ones.

I have an uncle that is into collectible vehicles. He has dozens of fantastic rigs. Every single one of them is stored in a clean, neat garage space. Yes, he has eight or ten garage stalls on his main house. He owns rental houses nearby with separate garages on the back of the properties where he stores the rest of his collection, all spotlessly organized.

My hubby does not.

Nor will he listen to my pleas to keep his junk piles out of sight.

I’m sorry, but it is not a laughing matter. Blue tarps give me nightmares.


  1. How frustrating, i agree that it is otherwise a beautiful view. Ive just spent 3 days cleaning up and it took a full day to clear the pergola area of tools that just get left. Hubby gets so distracted that everything he picks up ends up taking him off on a tagent that takes hours. They dont like their stuff touched so i have to plead with them for regular cleanups or the house starts to look like a toolshop or an electronics shop. Gosh, we must have the patience of Job.

  2. If we had the money, or space, our yard would very likely look a LOT like yours... My family (my father and his father, at least) has been unusually fond of "collecting things." Until my diagnosis of autism/asperger's, I had always written off my "pack-rat-ism" as a product of my lineage, but now I understand that there is MUCH more to it than that.

    I've read that one characteristic of autism is an "unusual attachment to objects," but internally to me it feels more like a "connection" to objects, rather than an attachment. I suspect that, to the allistic world, "attachment to objects" and "connection to objects" look very much the same... but to me, there are differences. I want things to be used for some beneficial purpose, to be valued, to achieve the "purpose of their lives," rather than to be tossed aside or discarded just because a newer model comes along. Yes, I understand that "things" aren't alive, but in my mind the definitely have a "presence," and that "presence" encompasses (among other attributes) the hours and hours of work that went into designing, manufacturing, marketing, and distributing the "thing." When an object is abandoned or scrapped before it is "used up," I feel a sense of loss for the presence of that object. It's almost as if the work that went into crafting that object was completed in vain, and as if the people that did that work are being somehow disrespected by the ambivalence now being shown to the object. I have, many times, "rescued" an object that was being thrown away, with the intention of making use of the object, sometimes by repairing some small broken part or by cosmetically sprucing the thing up. As often as not, however, those "rescued" objects just add to the "indoor" junkyard of our home... while the house isn't a "pig-sty", there are small appliances, lamps, chairs, tables, cabinets, and other things stacked up in most of the rooms, awaiting their turn to once again be "useful" objects.

    On the evening before the weekly refuse pickup in our neighborhood, people often put out by the road perfectly serviceable appliances, or furniture, or other household goods, to be picked up by the garbage truck the next morning. I have learned that I must be very careful on "garbage-day-eve," to drive in and out of our neighborhood by the shortest, most-direct route possible, lest I find myself with yet another car full of things, which will join the many others that I've "rescued," waiting their turn to once again be productive members of the "object" society.

    Until I was just typing this comment, I hadn't really thought about how similar the story of dis-used or discarded objects is to some societal views of those with differences - autism, Down syndrome, physical impairment, sensory impairment - and the way that we are all-too-often discarded or otherwise prevented from living up to our potential.

    I think you've given me the start of my next blog post... thanks for sharing, and for the honest descriptions... they have definitely helped me to become much more self-aware.

    1. oh oh oh! i thank YOU so very much for your thoughtful explanation! this fits steve to a 't' - i can definitely see your viewpoint in him - you know he is a manufacturing engineer, right? his work life revolves creating, correcting, refining, producing - that being said, now all i have to do is figure out how to teach him to 'corral' his interests in a different part of our acreage... lol

    2. Not sure if it might be helpful, but I wonder if you have some success (i.e. you might spark some interest in his "corralling" the things) in approaching this challenge by taking the perspective of the "things" themselves... appeal to his interest in the "things" by suggesting that perhaps they are suffering by being where they are... that they're feeling neglected, and perhaps having a designated clear space, where they aren't so exposed to criticism from people who don't understand them, to have as their temporary home would be better for them. When I think back at similar situations at home, I think there would be a fine line that could be too easy to cross, at which point you might come across as patronizing or condescending or dismissive of his feelings, but it might be worth a try.

      When my grandfather died back in the mid '70's, he was living in one condominium in Florida but had a second one in the same building for all of his "things." My dad and I, along with (to a lesser extent) his mother and brothers, spent a full week cleaning out the second condominium, and were astounded at the array of things we found. I remember the frustration we all had, and I use that mental image to try and keep my own "pack-rat-ism" in check... I don't want to leave a huge mess for my kids to deal with when I die! That strategy probably hasn't been as successful as I'd like, as often as I'd like, but I'll keep working on it!

      Aspie Kent :)
      the aspie half of aspieandallie.wordpress.com

    3. good point - definitely worth consideration...

    4. Thank you Aspieandallie for your explanations. This has been such an interesting conversation and explains much to me about my son and husband. I appreciate your advice.