I don't know if it was the scent of WD-40, the classic rock playing on the rusty old radio or just having a chance to escape my world of Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls, but I loved hanging out in that garage.
My Dad was in the commercial fishing business, so he would often be gone for long stretches of time. We travelled with him up to Alaska for many summers and fishing seasons, but there were always times when he would be away from us.
I think I missed him so much that I didn't care if I would get a little grease on my new Kangaroo shoes (I had a purple pair with a rainbow stripe, what color were yours?). Spending time with him, watching him roll out from under one of our cars on a, what do you call it?, oh, a creeper, standing next to him as he "fixed something" at his workbench - those are some of my fondest childhood memories.
When I opened the door to our garage yesterday afternoon, I was struck with a sight that caused the largest of smiles to spread across my face.
There they were, father and daughter. She was still in her cute school clothes, perched on the bumper of his truck with the cap to his oil thingy clutched in her little hand. I tried to back up through the door from which I'd came without making a sound so I could go get my camera . . .
And, it worked! They never even knew I was there.
I didn't even mind that I'd be spending my night removing grease stains from Katie's clothes. Those kind of stains are the best kind to get.