A Salute to The Man Cave (and Other Places of Inner Sanctum)

| 2/4/2011 3:26:37 PM

CindyMurphyBlog.jpgThe garage was a hideous-looking thing; a detached one stall made from pressboard painted white, with green trim that would be a pretty color only if it was seen when staring wistfully into someone’s eyes, or even acceptable to wear one day a year, on St. Patrick’s Day. But for a garage? Eeeew! It been this ugly since the day it was built 25 years ago, long before we bought the house. Oh, I tried to hide it’s ugliness over the years with a trellised grape vine on one side, and by letting a rambling rose grow massively out-of-control on the other side. I planted hydrangeas between the garage and the equally hideous-looking, rusty old metal shed in an attempt to mask the hideousness of both buildings.

Ugly garage 

The garage finally got a facelift this summer when Keith noticed a bit of wood rot around the foundation. I picked the siding color – red. “Red? Are you sure?” he asked. “Yes, red. Barn red.”

Our house is a 100-plus year old farmhouse that in my mind needed to be red; I love red houses. Since re-siding the house is not in the budget now, I figured why not start small, with a red garage. Once complete, I thought the newly-sided, barn-red garage was a pretty backdrop to the vegetable garden in full swing, surrounded by a lawn of Dutch clover in bloom.

Finished garage 

The only thing out of place now is that rickety ugly shed. I’ve got my heart set on a potting shed – a beautiful, barn-red potting shed with space not only for the mowers, tiller, shovels, and rakes, but I vision shelves of pots, a small chest of drawers for seeds, balls of twine, and gloves, a peg-board for my hand-tools, and a roof overhang with a potting bench beneath. And windows; it must have windows! I cannot convince Keith that a shed needs windows. He wants to replace the old shed with a new utility shed – one that adds nothing to the charm that I’m trying to create in our backyard. In fact, he cares nothing about my beautification efforts. He would be equally fine with nothing but concrete surrounding the garage as he is with the new daylily and hosta bed I planted this fall along the garage’s foundation. I’m fairly certain whatever color siding I chose would have been fine too. As long as it’s functional, it doesn’t matter how it looks.

Cindy Murphy
2/9/2011 7:55:29 AM

Oh, Shannon, Shannon, Shannon...I hate to burst your Mom Bubble, really I do, but their neediness seems to grow as quickly as their shoe size. Finally you'll make it into the teenage years; they've become independent, and you'll think you can hold on to that shred of sanity you still have left. Pfft! There is a reason, so I'm told by the few I know who've survived, that the teenage years come directly before the college years. It's so you can at last enjoy a moment's peace. Enjoy that 5 minutes time to yourself while you can!

S.M.R. Saia
2/9/2011 5:35:42 AM

Cindy, we have a similar man cave here. Actually we have two, which my husband is constantly talking about joining together into one BIG one. I'm afraid to go into either of them! Oh, and am I to understand that the inability hold a private thought in my head for 5 minutes inside the house without someone needing Mom isn't going to go away? Ack!

Cindy Murphy
2/7/2011 12:27:10 PM

Michelle - how very cool you are learning about some of your Native American heritage through those books. If you ever want to identify some of the plants discussed in them, you can always get a native plant book to use as a reference while you read...or e-mail me the description, and I'll see if I can help. Enjoy your day!

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