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Women’s Voices by Melody Doughty

Some families have one, others do not; some are attached, others are placed around a home. Most people use it to shield their cars from the rain and snow, some just for storage and some use it as a place to work on their machines or projects. Mine stands about 30 feet from the back right corner of my home.

It’s just a garage, but it is the center of just about everything.

My garage is the place where tears are shed, vehicles are put back on the road and gossip is spoken. The garage is our meeting place, and holds enough memories for a lifetime.

There’s really nothing special about it. It’s a square, brown, two-car garage with a plain, white door. What happens in it, however, is unlike any other garage. Whenever the words “let’s go sit and talk in your garage” are spoken, it means something important needs to be said. When a person walks into the garage, all verbal filters are left in the driveway. One of the reasons this is the best place to bond is because the Wi-Fi doesn’t reach the garage.

This is the place where important friendships were made. My move to a new school district was a difficult transition, especially during senior year. And although a small building made of lumber and synthetic wood siding doesn’t have any magical powers, my senior year of high school might not have been so easy without it.

After a month in Lancaster, my garage became the place to hang out for many friends. Not a night could go by without music, laughing and great times with great people. (Of course, every crazy day was always brought to a close by taking a group walk to Zorba’s to stuff our faces with milkshakes and hot fries dipped in cheese.)

My graduation party was no exception. The day had started as any normal graduation party would, beautiful summer day, confetti on every table, and “Class of ’14” everywhere. A huge buffet of food lined around the inside of the walls, and the driveway was filled with tables under bright white pop-up tents. The smell of macaroni salad and melty cheeseburgers lingered through the neighborhood. The day time was for the family but as soon as the sun began to set the real graduation party began.

The garage is always the place to meet to chat, no matter how crazy the weather. Countless nights were spent sheltered from the rain so we could enjoy the giant boom of thunder and the illuminating flash of lightning. Even through Buffalo’s notorious winters, my family, friends and I still manage to find a way to congregate out there. Since there is no heat, most of us bundle up in any extra blankets and jackets we can find and then we all huddle together as close as we can, which isn’t too hard when both of my parents are parked in there. The garage could never be alone.

It is said that after high school, friends all go their separate ways and the ones who were supposed to be around forever, seem to fade away. That is completely true. Slowly the garage is returning to an average garage. But every once in a while I receive random calls or texts to catch up, and as soon as I ask “What would you like to do?” the response is always, “Let’s sit and talk in your garage.”