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Taking Down the Garden Shed

In most relationships, there is the one who loves tools and will sometimes buy them with merely some nebulous, vague future need in mind. They do this knowing full well that their spouse might notice. And then ask questions. Hard questions. And that one of their answers might be, “I don’t know when I’ll use it.” And another, if things go badly, might be, “I might never use it.”

A decrepit metal shed isn't much of a garden view.

A decrepit metal shed isn't much of a garden view.

In my and Michele's marriage, I'm the tool buyer. And we have a Harbor Freight nearby. My guess is that Harbor Freight is a front for the mob. I'm not sure. Maybe for money laundering. All I know is their tools are incredibly cheap. True, they look and feel like they’re made from recycled battleships using 1950s Soviet designs, and I doubt that any modern American professional would care to use them on a daily basis. But for the person buying tools for some nebulous, vague future need, they’re perfect!

This is how I wound up with a grinder and a diamond cutting blade that I used to lay waste to an old, rusty nightmare of a Sears metal garden shed.

Sure, I get the irony of taking such joy in using one tool to dispose of another, but I hated that shed from the very beginning. Assembly was horrendous. Awful. The sliding doors stopped sliding a month after I got it. If it was hot outside, it was 20 degrees hotter inside. Likewise, if it was cold, 20 degrees colder. The roof sat too low. I banged my head going in and going out. Every time. And, of course, it was dark and always crawling with spiders, wasps and mice.

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In our yard, this shed stood mostly hidden by a big, old viburnum, and it lived at the end of winding, mossy path with stone walls on both sides. This lovely lane compelled garden visitors to follow it in search of what treasured view might lie at its end. Which of course turned out to be a rusty, yawning shed proudly displaying a slew of dying tools and wreaking of mice.

But the coup de grace for the shed finally came when I saw it from our rear neighbors’ perspective. We’ve lived backyard to backyard for more than 25 years. These last few, we’ve kind of gotten to know them, and with some surprise we’ve found that we don’t especially dislike them! Seeing our shed from their viewpoint was a revelation. An abandoned steel mill would be an improvement. It had to go.

And it did. Armed with my 30-pound grinder and diamond blade, I ended its reign of terror. Mice and spiders fled in every direction. Sure, I got some cuts and bruises, and of course I have no idea when I got my last tetanus shot, but I can now sleep at night knowing I won and the shed lost. Better yet, although I’ve now got a little less space in my garage, I have a little more for new plants! So. Who needs an old ball cart? A 40-pound double digger? A rusty bulb planter that never really worked? You never know when they could come in handy.

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