Close your eyes and dream about your favourite places. Sandy beaches, the cool pool, green golf courses, snow covered mountains and boisterous football, baseball or hockey arenas are just a few of my much-loved destinations. Couple a great location with family and friends relaxing, drinking, eating and shooting-the-breeze and you’ve got the recipe for the sweetest of memories.
Wait. Stop. Before you start to think that this another boring hallmark card blog full of sunshine, roses and the wonderful wondrous wonders of family … let me set the record straight … nope … not today. I want to talk about architecture, setting and ambiance. Let’s chitchat about my carport. That’s right, the place where I park my car every evening!
For those of you that may not know, a carport is a covered structure used to protect vehicles from the elements. It’s not a full garage and does not have four walls.
My carport has just the right amount of room, just the right amount of shade and is built at just the right angle to catch the warm summer breeze. It’s a diner and a banquet hall. It’s a night club, a dance floor and a barbecue stand all in one. I can spill things and no one minds, yet it’s covered and protects me from the elements. It doesn’t cost a penny for us to use! It’s my favourite place on earth.
The laughter! Oh the laughter! Crazy games and competition are often part of our carport functions. Special occasion or no occasion the carport’s got it covered. When asked what my nephew wanted for this grade 8 graduation, his answer was simple and direct, a carport party. Done deal buddy – done deal.
On a sunny summer Saturday we hold our annual carport Olympics. Everyone gathers round, and starts warming up and stretching. We reach in and pick a name out of the hat and divvy up the contestants into partners. That’s right. Pit one against the other. It’s time for the games! Seriously, our family loves to compete. Bean bag toss, washer toss, hopscotch and marbles. The sillier the game the louder it gets … yet the compete level never waivers.
We’ve done it all in that carport; Sunday suppers, engagement parties and funerals. The carport is our convention centre. Don’t forget beer pong. Plenty of beer pong has been played in that carport! Flip cup too. Folding tables and lawn chairs are always at the ready. The shiny silver cooler sits on the side-wall and awaits the ice and beverages that quench the thirst of adults and children alike.
Blogs about family meeting places are all focused on great vacations and church; and while I truly enjoy both … my carport is an every-day, any-day place where we can holiday, retreat and get together. It needs repairs but I think that actually adds to the comfort and character of the carport.
The carport is legendary in our little corner of the world. Yet it is merely the container, the vessel, the holder of the real jewels. It simply provides the backdrop for the treasure within. The people and the memories bring the carport to life and give it significance. Do you have that special place that draws everyone together? You know, that spot where if the walls could talk they’d have plenty to say.