My life is on display at the hardware store

February 7, 2016

Thanks for the trip down memory lane, hardware store

In my first house in my 20s (yes, big hair was in then), and still renovating in my 30s.

I don’t need selfies or 500 photos on my phone; my life is on display at the hardware store.

I only realised this on Sunday morning, when I went looking for kitchen island designs (yes they do have everything including the kitchen sink). I got that same rush of excitement when I entered that I get at a Spotlight store—you know, the craft store.

There’s so much potential for creativity, adventure and achievement in these stores… to quote Dr. Seuss “Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!”* And my life is laid out in various aisles that once I strode with intent.

I cut through the paint section and remember—like it was yesterday—painting my first cottage at Stones Corner… the hours of filling tongue and groove with No More Gaps filler, the hardened skin of my fingers, painting with a brush because a roller wouldn’t fill the gaps and the glorious glow and smell of fresh paint at the end. I love paint, it transforms and lifts… I wish there was a paint for the heart and soul.

But more importantly the paint section reminds me where I was in my life then; my first house bought entirely on my own. I had gotten my first PR manager job and now I had a house, and a mortgage. I was so very grown-up. I loved coming home and closing myself into this house that was mine and all the decorations and furniture that were me.

Taps, sinks, baths, mats, I’ve bought them all over the years through the various manifestations of my life from single to married to divorce to co-habitating.

Memories from the gardening section are not as rewarding; I see plants hiding behind each other as they see me coming. It’s not from lack of love and watering, but somehow my only real success has been a rose bush; don’t even start me on coriander… although I hear it is universally hard to grow—that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The doggy door section once visited for my beloved Boxer Atlas, now gone nearly two years; the letterboxes; the BBQs—several that have come and gone; my very first girl drill (apparently lighter than the others); the Christmas lights which saw one year at least; the pull-out clothes line and shoe racks.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane, hardware store. See you next milestone.

*”Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr Seuss (Random House publishers)

 

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Helen Goltz
After studying English Literature and Communications at universities in Queensland, Helen Goltz has worked as a journalist, producer and marketer in print, TV, radio and public relations. She was born in Toowoomba and has made her home in Brisbane. Helen is the author of eight books and is published by Clan Destine Press and Atlas Productions. She is the original founder of She Brisbane.