Garage Doors, Woodchucks & Life Lessons

Door Installation.JPG

My husband and I have been attempting to install a garage door these last two days. I am quite proud of the fact that so far it is going quite well and we hope to have it accomplished by tomorrow night. (I realize that a professional would be laughing their backsides off right now over the fact that it is taking us this long.)

These are probably “vintage” garage doors. We purchased two of them over 5 years ago and they have both been neatly stored in the machine shed, waiting for the day we got brave enough to try install them. This week IS the week when we are learning garage door installation as we are putting one of them in. Thank heaven for google and the instructions you can find there.  They do give you an instruction booklet with your garage door kit; but there are not nearly enough pictures and diagrams…..

Getting the doors on the garage, is one of the milestones in our home improvement project. Another milestone, in the garage construction, was laying a cement floor a few years back.  Before that it was a very powdery, uneven dirt floor. It is unreal how dusty your back hallway can get from all that fine powdery dirt when it is hauled in on the bottom of your shoes.


While we were still in the dirt floor phase we had a resident
groundhog/woodchuck make our garage his home. We aptly named him “Chuck”. (It could be we also lacked imagination in the name game.)
Chuck had holes dug everywhere in our garage and they all led to his underground home. During that
particular winter he was probably the warmest,hibernating groundhog ever.

He lived in our garage during a previous presidential election season. I found it kind of funny that he decided to line his home with the plastic from the candidate signs that were stored in our garage after that election. I wonder what Chuck would do with the signs from this years’ candidates? I think underground might be the best place for these particular candidates’ signs! He was probably a woodchuck who was way ahead of his time when it comes to discernment during election season.

There are times I think it would be handy to be like Chuck. When it gets below zero in the wintertime I think hibernating would be a fine thing to do. Below zero weather is so over-rated and to sleep through the coldest, snowiest months would not be all bad. I don’t think I would like missing the holidays though; so…… maybe not such a great time to be asleep? Hmmmmmm, I will have to think on that one a bit more.

I do know I will enjoy the garage doors once they are on and operational. The wild critters that have used our garage as a home through the years might not like it; but I will not miss all the chicken feathers (and other chicken “stuff”), the bits of twigs from birds nesting in the rafters, wild critters roaming in and out, and other bits and pieces from the outdoors blowing around in our garage.

I have the feeling that once those doors are on we are going to sit back and wonder why we waited so long. Sometimes life, things and projects can look so intimidating until you actually get started on them. Sometimes I think we just need to open the box, take out the parts, read the manual and get to it.

I am pretty sure Chuck never gave a thought to failure when he decided, those many years ago, to make our garage his winter home. He did not worry about being chased out or if he was welcome. He just came on in and did what he needed to do.

I may have to re-read this post the next time an intimidating project lays too long in the back of the shed. I may have to think like Chuck and just come on in.  I may have to remind myself to “just get to it” the next time life seems overwhelming or just to hard to even get started. I wonder if I am the only one who ever feels this way……I suspect I am not.


“We must be willing to fall flat on our faces. Fearlessly putting ourselves out there is simply a required part of the process. At the very least, it results in the gift of humility and, at best, the triumph of our human spirit.”
Jill Badonsky









21 thoughts on “Garage Doors, Woodchucks & Life Lessons

  1. In The Autumn Of My Life says:

    Oh gosh, you are definitely not alone. Cleaning out a shed or decorating a packed room often gives me pause:

    “I suppose we ought to decorate in here? Mind you, it’s not TOO bad. It will last another year, don’t you think? Yes, I think so too! Now what shall we have for supper?”

    Lovely piece and I do love your cute little groundhog! We don’t have them over here in the UK so all these type of furries are cute to me! Haha! I also like skunks and chipmunks 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I am relieved to find I have lots of company in the procrastination department!
      Your conversation about decorating made me laugh. I totally relate to that conversation.
      Many people here consider the groundhog a pest and they do eat a lot of crops in the fields. My husband just cannot bring himself to get rid of them. They are so fun to watch.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In The Autumn Of My Life says:

        And then, like you, I find it doesn’t take nearly as long and wasn’t as ardeous as I thought it would be. We recently decorated our bedroom, lots of sheving and stuff. Had the lot done in a coupke of days and that including fully painted, old wallpaper off and new on!

        I guessed they might be a pest but awww so cute! I might not think that if I lived with them though!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. PaperPuff says:

    It is amazing what we can accomplish if we try, isn’t it? Not that I manage to stick to this as a life mantra though. Procrastination could also be my Olympic event. Although I’d probably never get around to completing the entry form! Good luck with the rest of the project!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thecobweboriumemporium says:

    Firstly … VERY GOOD LUCK in completing the installation. Somehow I don’t think you’ll fail. You have a mindset going on, which comes out through your words, which kind of lets a reader know that *this* is being done!! (Whether it likes it or not!) lol

    Secondly … forgive me … but there’s something in that photograph which reminds me (heart wrenchingly, painfully so) of our old cottage. It was a hundred and forty years old, with walls which weren’t anything near even, and door frames which Mr. Cobs had to build himself, and doors which we would order to be made, but which always had to have tons of adjustments which drove himself wild with frustration. But … there was one thing which Mr. C wanted to repair and I wouldn’t allow it.

    We used to keep chickens (not as many as yourself), and they were allowed to roam free – but were locked inside their run, and inside their hen house of a night time. We had such a big garden that they really enjoyed themselves, bless ’em, in our flower beds (we had very few flowers because of them), and they’d frequently wander up to the house, and even inside the house if the door was left open.

    BUT .. if the door was closed they’d come and knock on the door. Or rather … they’d peck, peck, peck at the lower part of the door frame, in such a way that they removed splinters of wood until, right at the base, the door frame no longer touched the floor!

    I loved that they did this, – it gave me a ticklish feeling, (not the damage, but the knocking to have the door opened) and that pecked away door frame made me feel all warm and squishy inside. It was ‘ours’. Although, years later, the chickens were no longer ‘there’, that pecked frame was always and forever, such a huge smile to my heart.

    We kept that door frame exactly like it was until 6 months before we put our cottage up for sale. Mr. Cobs said that it HAD to be repaired because otherwise buyers might be put off because of their idea of expense to have it repaired. So repaired it was. But not before I’d taken photos of it.

    That same warm heart smile came instantly I saw the door frame in your picture. Such a fabulous, huge warm glow around my heart, and I sat here, on my side of the computer, grinning like an idiot at the view.

    And… I bet now that I’ve decided your frame is chicken pecked, you’re going to tell me that no, one of the grandchildren drive their truck into the frame over and over, and that’s what causes the ‘pecked frame’ look. OR … Mr. Chicken kicks his boots on that same spot of the door frame before he comes in the house, and I’m totally wrong believing that your chickens did the deed! …. lol.

    The Garage is going to be fabulous when you’ve got it working. And it will be working because you’ll make it work. It won’t have any option. 🙂

    Sending oodles of love and squidges ~ Cobs. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      You are exactly right on the door frame and the chickens! They also love to come on the porch and peck at the glass of the patio door. I have had them venture into the house when the door has been left open. They are so very curious about everything……another thing we can learn from chickens?
      I am glad you got pictures to remember your chicken pecked doorframe. Good memories!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. peggyjoan42 says:

    You are a very good story teller. Enjoyed this post and I liked the picture of Chuck. My husband and I installed a garage door years ago. It was easier for us because my Husband was a maintenance man. I am always his apprentice and have learned a lot over the years. Good luck on finishing the garage door installation. And yes, life is overwhelming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Ohhhh a maintenance man husband…..that would be handy. My husband always makes me read the manual as he thinks my brain works better than his for that LOL. We make a good team.
      Chuck was so very fun to watch. I think the woodchucks we have now might me his descendants. I am not sure how long a woodchuck actually lives in the wild.

      Liked by 1 person

      • peggyjoan42 says:

        We have woodchucks in the Southeast U.S. Have never had one live near our place though. I see them as we drive down the road. My maintenance husband has saved us a lot of money over the years. He does work for the kids, friends, and neighbors and charges no one. Handy man to have around. A good Christian man, think I will keep him. Ha

        Liked by 1 person

  5. marijo1245 says:

    No stranger to big tasks, I don’t think I could tackle a garage door. Himself, yes. Me, no way Jose. I stick to the ones that involve no skill!

    I have a “Chuck” as well!!! I discovered him the other day feasting on my fallen persimmons. He lives under the neighbor’s house and is quite fat. He makes great company (from afar!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I think you probably take on some huge tasks and they do require lots of skill…..don’t sell yourself short.
      Enjoy you “Chuck” they do love to dig huge holes under foundations but they will never hurt you and they don’t spray like skunks! They kind of remind me of huge prairie dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • marijo1245 says:

        I like to stick with the basic tasks that require little thought. My rock relocation project is prime example, move rocks from one place to the next!

        Thankfully my Chuck lives under the neighbors house. He has his own entrance, it’s super cute. Meanwhile, I have a mole in my yard. While I am yet to see him (them?), we are not on good terms. Should we ever meet, it might not go so well!

        Liked by 1 person

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