new creation
back of the napkin #28

a turkey, an old building, and an answer to prayer (part 1)

Shed2It was one of the last things my dad did – or was able to do – before cancer weakened him and then took his life.

The saga of the garden shed is a story in itself. First there was a metal shed with sliding doors that dad and my granddad assembled – only they didn’t quiet follow instructions and it was about a foot shorter in width than it should have been. Dad never said much about it after it was built; the “short shed” was always a reminder to “read the instructions” from that point on.

It got old, and rusty, and dad had to tear it down in order to make way for the two-car garage he was having built.  So after the garage was built, he had one of those Amish outbuildings brought onto the property to hold garden tools and other stuff.  It had two windows, hunter green shutters, and two front doors closed at the center and trimmed in the same hunter green. 

And then, he died.

I feel sure dad had wanted the shed there as the place from where he could work on the vegetable garden during his retirement. But cancer has a dastardly way of changing things.

Following his death, Mom and I tried to make the garden shed more useful. I put up some peg board to hold tools and such. It housed my grandparents’ old copper kettle in which we had made many batches of apple butter each fall, an old upright radio, my sister and my roller skates, a large metal desk I had used during my short time as a teacher, and many other mementos of our family’s past.

And then Mom died.

The garden shed was there, but unused. I had tried going into the building after that, but it was thick with memories…and it made me so sad.

Over the years it became overgrown with the English ivy Mom and I had planted to cover the ground between the shed and the garage.  A rose I had planted outside the shed grew large and woody, but every spring it would display beautiful pink blooms and remind me how very much Mom had loved roses. The years took its toll and four years ago I battled several families of ground hogs that decided to move into abandoned building.

Two years ago the squatting furballs managed to chew the bottom of the shed’s doors, the back of the building, and part of the building’s floor.  Cody loved to surprise them and send them scurrying under the building.  I settled the battle by liberally dumping moth balls and ammonia into every hole they had created.  The scent around the building was so thick that some nights I could smell it as far away as the house.

Last summer, with ivy covering its northern side, and two holes appearing in the roof, I started asking around on Facebook for someone to tear down the old shed but with no response.  I had thought about just tossing a match inside the building, but realized that would have put the garage at risk.  It continued to deteriorate, and I resigned myself to hiring some professional wrecking crew to take the building down.  I knew tearing down the building would mean the return of many memories, but there was no sense in trying to reclaim the structure.  Yet all my appeals and searches and prayers seemed to be fruitless.

My sister told me to pray about finding a way to get rid of the old building. I asked the Lord to help me locate a company that would be willing to do the job at a reasonable price, but my little faith had me concluding that I probably should start searching the Yellow Pages.

And then, a wild turkey changed everything.


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