This weekend was “put up the garden shed” time … not to be confused with “relax and take a break time” that is what we all look forward to on the weekends. We suspended having a meeting with votes on what we do on our weekends when it was generally agreed I would vote one way, hubby would vote the other way and then we would have to wrestle for it and hubby was in the military.  I only know how to wrestle cattle and they don’t put up as much fight.

I received my instructions at our Friday night dinner table.  I was supposed to be “helping.”

“I just need you to come out and hold the panels for me,  off and on while I bolt them in, should be about 15 minutes at a time …. and they are really light.”

Let me translate. “I have no idea what I am doing or what I need you to do, but you should tell everyone else you will be gone for a week.”

I cried myself to sleep that night.

And then, the phone call came … our son was coming up to help. I tried to look nonchalant and just nod like I was unaffected emotionally but I was affected … deeply affected.  I managed to save my squeals of delight for the pillow in my office. THAT pillow and I have shared so many moments ….

So ya, the menly men are up and ready to go the moment the clock ticks past allowable working time. I can hear them chiming out the roll call of tools … .

“..drill .. ”


“…hack saw ..”


” …blood transfuser ..”


I was good with all of it except that they needed to throw open every window and door in the place just to be sure that I could hear what manly studliness was in my very own yard as they worked on their garden shed.  I was freezing and you can only put on so many clothes and still be able to scratch your nose if it should itch.

“I am freezing, I am just going to close the door ok, you look very studly out there in your shorts and work boots.  Whooot way to go guys.  Wow! That garden shed does not stand a chance!!” And I gave them the thumbs up.

“It’s not cold, what are you talking about, leave them open, we might need you for something.”

“Look, you seem to think you are the human thermometer or something and you throw that thermometer reading stuff all over the place trying to control the world but let me tell you something YOU are NOT the human thermometer ok? I am pretty sure if we were to have a vote amongst all the people, NO-ONE would vote for you to be our thermometer, because your calibration is obviously skewed right out of whack!! I-AM-CLOSING-THESE-DOORS!!!”

The Human Thermometer was not to be deterred,”But what if we need you for something?”

“You have your cell phone …. put me on speed dial.”

I went in the house and took the phones off the hook.

Ok so that was several hours ago, since then they have broken the drill, needed a band-aid, wanted to know if they had dropped anymore instructions on the floor earlier, asked for the number for the store where they bought it, got a drink of water, tracked dirt and grass everywhere and assured me things were going “great.”  Why is it that when men come in from working in the yard they always need to sweat and gasp as if they either outran the wolves and barely made it in the door, or that they are about to collapse, so manly was their manly efforts out in the manly world? Epic stuff!

Let me translate. “We have no idea what we are doing but we are both still alive.”

I can hear them swearing out in the yard, I am sure they can hear them on main street. Look, I think there should be some kind of rules and regulations with this stuff. Like no marriage, no relationship is safe when a man decides to “put something together” … whether it is the new TV stand, a book case, or a garden shed.  They should give the woman the power to evacuate the neighbourhood.  The same rules should apply to this as those that regulate the bomb squad.   “OK.  Everyone out. Evacuate the family to safety. Secure the perimeter. Safety equipment on? Ok go on in ….”

The rest of us should be allowed to do lunch, or get a massage …come back in a few hours .. When they have been given the “all clear.”  If no-one has heard anything well then you know what … they knew the dangers of the job, they died a noble death … go buy the pre-assembled version of whatever and move on.

Now my “masters of the universe” are calling me, they want me to see what they have done!! I know better than to ask if it is supposed to lean that way and what are all the extra pieces still lying on the ground? I just smile and nod and say, “Wonderful!  Probably the best garden shed ever.  Who really needs to be able to open and close the door anyway right?