Monday, June 10, 2013

Briar Hill Lodge: Covington, GA

The Garden Shed

All things Garden Shed happened while we lived in Georgia, without a basement, and with frequent tornadoes.

It started out as a garden shed, but it became pretty obvious, at least to me, that Husband had other intentions from the get go.

Oh, it’s funny how people do that.  Get a small idea or plan or project and before you’ve finished saying, “I guess so,” you’ve got your yard dug up for whatever the scheme is about this time.

Well, this time, it was,  “How about a garden shed, just for a place to keep my tools, you know.  The garage is a mess. I’ve got to get a little order around here.”

He’s right. And I’m not orderly.  Not at all.  The house had no basement.  The garage seemed to be like a one and a half car holder, no matter what you are parking.

If a tornado came, we’d have to pile the two huge dogs with us in the first floor tub, the only room without windows.

Likely you’ve seen small metal garden sheds at the Home Depot. Those guys will come, set it up, and be done with it.

Not what happened.  

I noticed plans, magazines, drawings and downloaded kit info piling up.  Most of them looked like a nice little one room guest house you might see.  Bigger than a kids’ playhouse or tree fort or clubhouse.  Pretty nice digs for a couple of rakes and a wheel barrow.

Our carpenter, Kevin, paid a visit, so I knew things were getting serious.  Cedar shakes were mentioned.  French doors.  A front porch.  Clearly, the man had plans.

I’d seen one such structure before, in Hamilton, Massachusetts where my friend Jim lives.

As part of a kitchen renovation that grew like topsy, Jim added in a Guy Only Place, across a deck and out back as far as he could legally build.

Jim showed me the Guy Only Place one day, when no other guys were around.  It held a few chairs, a small TV with aluminum foil on the antennae, a couple of ship models and nailed up postcards.  It smelled of cigars and spilt beer.  It was A Guy Place for sure.  Also, I noticed a big funnel.

“Jim?  The funnel?”

“Oh, well.  We don’t want to have to go in the house to pee, you know.”

I’m a person who does prefer to go in a house for such things.

As it happens, this funnel fed into a piece of garden hose and disappeared right into his septic tank.  Clever Jim, I guess, but now this construction project in my own back yard was making me nervous.

Cement got poured.  Boards got sawed.  Kevin clambered up to add a green tin roof.  When the acorns fell, it made a person jump.

It contained electricity, a tool bench, peg boards, a 1940’s type radio.  Also, gardening books, a small refrigerator and a space heater.  

Bill was happy.  He made shelves on Saturday afternoosn while listening to opera. He sat on the front porch in the early evening with a Scotch and watched the hawks torment the rabbits and chipmunks. 

He called it Briar hill Lodge, named after the garden shed of his youth.  I  made him a sign for the front door.  It’s all his and he loved it.

The man works hard, and he needs his space.  Plus, he does not have a funnel rigged up, so I’m not complaining.  

No sooner (it seemed) did the new favorite place on the street become the front porch of Briar Hill Lodge, where a Baptist man could score a beer IF no other Baptist man was already there, did we move again.  

We've missed many things about living in small town Georgia.  A Language Wrangler can pick up a lot of new linguistic twists, and a man can build a 'garden shed' by a stream, hoping that the water moccasins don't take an equal liking to the structure.  

On a scary hot New England Day in the middle of a heat wave, it's hard not to think about the five years we lived in the Deep South.

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