Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Old Rusty Shed

It had sat there for years in the shadow of the trees.  Over eighteen years, in point of fact, since some time before we bought into our little rambler.

It was an old metal Arrow shed, up on a low pressboard platform in our back yard.  It had seen better days, most likely in the 1980s.

Now, though?  One of the sliding doors scraped along its track, the runner broken.  The roof, covered with fallen debris.  And everywhere, rust and corrosion, a random splotching of oxidization.  It was ugly.  It looked terrible, and like it was halfway through falling apart.  Every time I dragged out the mower, I would think, man, I need to do something about this wreck of a shed.

It's summer, and summer is the time for outdoor projects, and so I began thinking about finally getting a replacement.  I mapped out what that'd entail, and did some pricing of new sheds.   I'd need to tear it down, of course, which'd probably involve some unscrewing and unbolting followed by smashing with a large sledge.

Which is always cathartic, and gets my inner twelve year old boy all fired up.

I went out to measure, just to be double extra sure of the dimensions for a replacement shed.  Eight by ten, just as I'd thought.  But as I walked around the shed, taking measurements for its doom, I looked more closely.  Yes, it was corroded.  But the rust was entirely superficial.  The structure wasn't compromised, even though it looked terrible.  The metal roof was dinged and bent in a few places from where large storm-tossed branches had pranged it over the years, but it was still fundamentally sound.  The pressboard foundation was without rot or flaw.

And I realized, you know, this shed doesn't need to be discarded.  It just needs some attention.  Some repair, followed by sanding, primer, and paint.

So on and off over the course of a week, I did what needed to be done.  I cleaned it.  I sanded down the corroded sections with that power sander I'd gotten but never used, and cleaned it again.  I disassembled and reassembled the door.  Then primer, and a day later, paint.

And lo and behold, the thing that was an embarrassing eyesore to be discarded?  It was perfectly fine again.

Not fancy.  Still with an imperfection here and there.  But it isn't a wreck now.  It is, in point of fact, a decent-looking shed.

We are so quick to throw things away in our culture, to toss aside something for another thing the moment it shows signs of flaw or weakness.  From that basis, we are equally quick to look at those flaws we see rising in ourselves, and to start thinking that the whole endeavor is just not worth it.  With all that rust and ricketyness, we're just beyond fixing.

And so we don't try.

As we roll into this summer fallow season in life's rushing busyness, it seems worth taking a few moments to visit those rusty areas of your soul.

A little sanding, a little prayer, and a little repair may be all that's needed.