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May 25, 2009

I Silenced the Lambs

Image: Flickr/Steve Snodgrass

Image: Flickr/Steve Snodgrass

So readers, this afternoon I did something so brave, so fearless, that I feel as if I could take on the world and actually win. I faced one of my biggest fears today. I looked death in the eye. I went toe to toe with a giant.

What exactly, you ask, did I do?

I cleaned out our backyard shed.

Dear readers, this shed isn’t your typical backyard shed. This is the mother of all creepy sheds. I’m talking Silence of the Lambs scary. It had ivy covering the front and on more than one occasion, I saw little critters crawling out of it. It was left here by the previous owners of this house and I have only tried to open it once (in two years). When I pried open the creaky door, something fell over and I swear I saw a body part in a jar – ok, so maybe it was an old gas can, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I ran for the hills and left it alone…until today.

Every day when I do dishes, I see this eyesore out of the kitchen window and every time I see it, I feel weak. Today, I decided to do something about it. I suppose all this talk about Memorial Day got to me. If all these brave men and women could fight for my freedom, I could certainly tackle this shed. So, I put on long sleeves, jeans, work gloves, and a hat. I grabbed my machete (yes, I have one…doesn’t everyone?) and a lantern and headed into the abyss.

I whacked my way through the ivy like Michael Douglass in Romancing the Stone and stood in front of the shed breathing deeply. I banged on the door a few times to give whatever might be living in there a heads up and then I pried it open. The shed was packed – floor to ceiling – with the most random assortment of trash you could imagine. The first thing my eye could make out made me question my sanity. It was a huge glass jug filled with dark brown liquid that had something white floating in it. It was now or never. I went straight for it (with a stick, of course) and pulled it toward me. Bit by disgusting bit, I pulled out half empty paint cans, torn rags, broken tools, rotten seeds – you name it – this shed had it.

Surprisingly, nothing had nested in there save for a few spiders and before I knew it, I had pulled every single thing out. One good clean sweep later and I looked at my handiwork. A huge surge of pride shot through me and I felt amazing.

I put in some standing shelves, moved our lawn equipment in, and passed out from exhaustion. Why do I bother telling you this?

Because every day for the past two years, I have at some point or another, felt heavy whenever I saw this shed. I kept thinking – “Boy, I’d like to have this storage space. If only Hal could do this for me….if only we had the money to hire someone to tear it down and buy another one.”

I had painted myself in a corner by thinking this way. I was waiting on some external circumstance to happen so that I could feel good about this area in my yard. TWO YEARS I felt this way. And one afternoon is all it took to feel completely different.

Not too shabby. Now, where is my heating pad?

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