Monday, July 30, 2012
But this house, and this shed, have been different. We settled it in the Fall, a few months later my father died at 64, in a swirl of unfulfilled potential and a few months after that I built a shed, specifically to fulfill a potential.
Some people have dream homes. I had the dream of owning a home that required the purchase of a small tractor. I am now, and have been for several years, living the dream. Various projects around the house generated excess lumber and the tractor deserved a home of its own, so I decided to construct one. Believing that plans – like those story synopses in operatic playbills – preclude excitement, I set out my wood, purchased some more and started building a shed.
I soon realized that the best way maximize use of my materials and minimize cuts would be to make a cube. 10 x 10 x 10. This would result in an object of beauty, a pantheon to originality. With a flat roof. I live on an island north a Buffalo, NY. If you are not familiar with the climate of the northeastern Americas, let my just say, most people prefer a roof that encourages snow and rain to slide to the side. I liked the cube, so rather than form a peak, I decided to cant the whole building.
I loved this design. Bold. Unique. I didn’t even mar it with a door. I fashioned a secret panel, with a catch hidden in the bottom. The shed stood like a brown monolith, as if Kubrick had decided to do a woodsy version of 2001 A Space Odyssey. Yes, the roof sagged and I had to install center supports, which barely left room for the tractor. And yes, it leaked like disgruntled middle managers, passed over yet again. Still, a big nut-color cube? Look at it. Moisture, mold, mice, followed by squirrels and squishy floorboards. After eight years of patching, caulking and burning time I didn’t have, came the saw and the sledge. There was nothing else to do. My lesson in classic tragedy. Fixing the flaws would have destroyed the reasons I cherished the shed in the first place.
It’s also my lesson in perseverance. Next time, I’m going to do it right. I’m thinking pyramid.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 11:38 AM