The Shed

Uploaded 29 Jun 2017 — 1 favorite
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© JamesHarmon McQuilkin
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Photo Info
UploadedJune 29, 2017
TakenMay 28, 2017
MakeSony
ModelILCE-5000
Exposure1/1000 sec at f/9
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length28 mm
ISO1000
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Back when I was a kid sheds had a much more sinister and mysterious feel. Few of my friends misbehaved and were told by their father to go get a 'switch' from the woods, and were rewarded by getting a whooping behind the shed.

Switches are most efficient (i.e., painful and durable) if made of a strong but flexible type of wood, such as hazel, birch, or hickory; as the use of their names for disciplinary implements.

*(No, I do not condone this activity....just trying to explain why sheds had more of a negative connotation when I was young)

Then, throw in the scary movies back then, with a young boy's imagination, and the sheds were off limits. Some of my friends used them as an absolute-last-resort for sanctuary from bullies, and even times the father would banish them to it if they were misbehaved enough. We didn't have one, but that didn't stop my dad. It was either the fist, open hand, or the nearest kitchen utensil. Oh yes, the black Navy belt with the huge buckle. He hung that in the pantry for easy access.

When I got my first house, a lawn came with it. Thus, I finally understood the real purpose of a shed. Storage! At my last house I had three! One was so big that I put the house address numbers above the door. The house was 149, and that particular shed was 149 1/2. The other two sheds were mostly lawn and pool supplies, but the third was different. It was so big that it was divided into sections--like rooms. There was the tool and workbench section. The other side was all sorts of chemical solutions and flammable material.

The remaining sides were lined with dressers and cabinets for all sorts of storage. In the center was an old set of tables and chairs I used for an office space and creative area for projects. The snow blower was at the end of the table, and my motorcycle was strategically squeezed between the snow blower and the wall with all the chemicals--which was right in front of the door. In the winter it had several space heaters and for the summer fans. Spare wood was stored in the rafters, and I had two big amplifiers, from my band days, where I would rehearse singing and play the guitar. This shed was really built well, and noise was muffled nicely. I would work in there on the computer doing almost everything....lesson plans, music, art, and any of my many hobbies. Like for so many people, my shed became my adult sanctuary. Although now I was escaping my wife and pets for a brief mental health fantasy vacation. The one thing I refused to install was a phone. You wanted me, you had to trudge your way to it and pull me out!

I miss my shed--as well the basement, attic, and the three floors and two flights of stairs. However, I don't miss the snow!

I miss my dad. He never saw my shed, and I wish I had created the opportunity to share it with him before he passed. Instead I considered it empowering not to.

I regret that decision.

I'd have had even let him take a switch to me if he wanted to.

1 response

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (30 Jun 2017):

    The shed sounds like it meant many things to you...My late father used to do some of his wood carvings in his shed and now I wish I would have taken the time to shoot a collection of photographs of him enjoying his hobby!

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