What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

– the kitchen cart’s box

“Having stooped to shedding a box on WIST,” I asked myself, “shall I shed another?”



About 15 years ago Nimue and I lived in a house that, to us, seemed constrictively short on kitchen counter-space. One day, pushing a super-sized cart down an aisle at Sam’s Club (a big-box delivery warehouse for way too much of anything I have since learned to avoid), my roving eyes were arrested by an unfinished furniture kit. Why, I thought, there’s the solution to our problem! And it’s on sale, a hundred bucks marked down to $60!

At home I happily carried it downstairs to my basement workshop. Notes: 1. Basements aren’t good locations for anything anyone wants to accomplish unless they are, themselves, nice places that welcome one’s presence. Cold, cob-web-festooned, dimly-lit rooms are birth-labs for several species of unfinishedness. 2. Out of sight is out of mind. 3. If one lives with a partner, it’s really best, when bringing home a project that will require many of hours of assembly and finishing, to recruit her or him as a stakeholder first.

I did start some sanding, but then it languished down there. When we moved rather abruptly, it went back into its box and remained there, mostly forgotten, till we renovated Casa de WIST’s kitchen and in its new order found a spot that called out for the cart.

I excavated the project from a pile in the garage. Long is the tale I could tell of the misguided decision to paint it with 25-year-old oil-based enamel that’s moved with us from location to new location like a curse, of how gravity defies paint and just how many different planes there are on even a fairly simple piece of furniture, and of joints splitting during assembly when the line between “just a little more force” and “whoops” was crossed. But never mind all that. Finally all the steps had been stepped, daily use embraced it, and happiness in the universe was slightly increased.

All that’s left is to take the box to the recycling drop-off next time I go.

shedding style: complete, recycle
destination: our community’s recycling drop-off

Comments welcome … have you ever rejoiced to see the back-side of a box?



– gourd, + birdhouse

Unfinished projects weigh on me as much or more than “stuff,” so I count their completion as a shed. This one has a happy power to make me smile.


I don’t remember how many years I’ve been storing this gourd on a succession of shelves, nor how it came into my keeping. But I’ve always meant to turn it into a birdhouse. It took only an hour of yesterday, half of that pleasant research, during which I learned some about the needs and preferences of cavity-nesting birds. The entry hole is larger than most species like, but that’s how it broke under my grandfather’s old brace and bit. I hope some nesting pair will enjoy a large front door. The dull color I sprayed it isn’t imaginative, but the intended tenants prefer earth tones for their homes. It’s they, after all, who will provide the flash and spark of life.

shedding style: complete
destination: a white oak we can see from our table

Comments welcome … it can be such a gift to finish something; why are we sometimes so stingy and withhold it from ourselves?

1 Comment »