Yesterday was Junk Day, a yearly event in which the township Department of Public Works (DPW) collects everything residents wish to toss, from spare tires to chunks of concrete. It coincided with the DPW’s electronics drop-off, for which I’ve been saving all the children’s broken earbuds.
For this special occasion, I tackled the shed
of doom. I started with the Known (hoses from the old washer), moved to the Unknown (the rusty canister that seemed to be corroding from within), and then to the Mysterious (the Lumber Pile).
The pile started as a stack of thick planks covered on one side with blue enamel paint. They came with the shed. Heck, they may have been part of the original purchase agreement! They look like they’d make good shelves, but there are no shelves anywhere like them in the house or the shed.
The pile grew higher after each home-improvement project. My family believes that if you keep the leftover pieces, the project will stand the test of time (or until your surviving relatives clean out your storage area in disgust). In some families, this is known as “keeping it just in case I need it later.” Future cultural anthropologists take note: This custom crosses all the cultures in which there are outbuildings, but the taboo against throwing out parts and pieces is particularly strong in men.
So I removed chunks of landscape timber, a few sections of laminate flooring, and then the original planks. Behind the planks was a stash left by Mr. MacGuyver, the original owner. There were bricks. And sawed-off ends of the deck posts. And a tile. And a fuse. And a construction worker’s walkie-talkie. And various other leftovers from the building of the House of Nonsense.
It took two trips to the DPW, and my car smelled briefly like an old barn, but the shed is spacious.