Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

George Carlin Is Turning Over

I love George Carlin.  I laughed at his observations of life, but apparently didn't learn what he was teaching.  I've  become an expert at storing a pound of stuff in a half pound bag.  It happens when you only have a half pound bag to begin with, and a whole lot stuff that needs to be stored.  What makes it work is being creative.

I can be creative.

Our garage is a one car garage, and was built sometime in the 1960's.  It's large enough for a 1968 Pontiac Bonneville, and a lawn mower, but little else. It's a half pound bag.  In New England,  there is  stuff that needs to be put away.  Stuff that needs to be stored seasonally, or just stored till the next time it's needed.  A lot of New England folks have a different idea just what storage is.  It could mean putting something in the barn, the garage, or out in the shed.  Others just place it on the lawn, under a tarp. If I placed our stuff under a tarp on the lawn I can assure you that in a very short time one of the things living under a tarp on the lawn would be me.

Mary's tolerance only goes so far.

In order to keep our stuff inside, and out of the weather, I built a lot of shelves, and racks for holding all our stuff in the garage.  It worked.  Rakes, shovels, hoes, and extension cords hung from hooks on the wall.  Snow blower, lawnmower on the floor in the corner.  A small wastebasket, recycling bin, and bin for returnables in the the other corner.  Fireplace wood, ice melt, and bicycles in the back, and bike racks, ladders, sprayers, tire pumps, shrub trimmers, saws, pruners all hanging from hooks on the other wall.

It all fit.

Problem got to be Mary not being able to get out of her car once she pulled in after work.  It only took one night of her sleeping in the garage to convince me that we needed an alternative.  A barn would be nice, but a bit too much since we only have cats, and the tarp idea was definitely out.  It looked like the alternative was a shed.  

I've stick built sheds in the past.  I enjoy it, and I can do it very well, but time was a factor.  I didn't want to have to wait a couple of months  building it on my days off.    

This time I wanted someone else to do it.  

This concept is very foreign to a guy that will try to do most anything before calling in the pro's, but it was an attractive one.  

We pulled up the Reeds Ferry Sheds website on the computer, and went shopping.  The site is good, it has lots of photos of what they offer, tools for  designing sheds, and lots of shed options.  Siding options, roof line options, color options.  Where to place the door options, number of doors, and how wide of a door option.  Window options, too.  If you spent enough time on the site you could design a three bedroom, two bath shed.

After we looked over all the shed designs, and the multitude of options we took a ride up the the Reeds Ferry factory in Hudson, New Hampshire.  The place is immense.  A large factory where the sheds are built, and many different style sheds setup outside for us to walk through, and for getting our storage juices flowing.

It worked.  

We bought a traditional colonial shed, gray clapboard on the three sides, gray shingles on the front with white trim, and a double front door.  And window boxes.  Very New England.  "Has to have window boxes", she said, and I agreed, as my living in under the tarp in the yard was still a very real possibility.

The minimalist garage.
The neat thing about buying a shed in Hudson, New Hampshire is that they build it there, then load it onto a truck, give it a ride to Fiskdale, and unload it.  In no time, compared to me building a shed from scratch, the little building was unloaded, leveled, with the ramp, and window boxes attached.  And, I sat on a lawn chair and watched them do it.  

Watching others do in a fraction of the time I could do it was the best.  What a concept.

Soon, the Reeds Ferry guys were done.  They asked me, as they had throughout their time at our house, if I was satisfied with the shed.

"Yes", I smiled, "Yes, I am".  

Over the next week, or so, I moved all the stuff from the garage into the shed.  It took a bit of time to figure out just where everything was to be placed so that it would fit well, and be accessible.  Now, the garage houses only Mary's car, the wastebasket, recycling, and a couple of snow shovels, and a broom.

That's it. The garage has become a minimalists dream, however we did need to buy a shed to accomplish it.

George Carlin is turning over, I'm sure.


  1. The trouble with sheds is they seem to multiply like rabbits, 1 is never enough!


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