A simple shed grew into a family gathering place.
This woodshed got quite the upgrade.
IN THE PAST, A TRIP TO THE
woodshed might be punishment for sliding across a freshly mopped floor in muddy boots. At my sister’s home in Oregon, it’s an invitation to relax. It was the winter of 2006, and her husband, Jim, finally had enough of slogging through the wet and cold, cradling chunks of wood while fighting with the weather-shredded tarp covering the rest of the pile. Safely inside after yet another trek to the rain-slicked pile, Jim began drawing. Pretty soon, he had a draft sketched. Before summer’s heat arrived, he and my sister Verdell began working in earnest. The poles for the woodshed had to be cut and peeled before the sap began to rise in May or early June at the latest. They drove the old Model A truck across the creek multiple times to select tall, straight trees from their 10-acre farm. When the pole pile resembled a small mountain, the tedious work of stripping the bark began. “It was almost like peeling an apple,” my sis said. “I used a small hatchet to slice the bark from top to bottom, stripping the bark back. I could do five or six poles in an hour.” Jim leveled the shed area and built a retaining wall of rock at the back, before shoveling granite in and raking it level. He set cement blocks in place for the foundation. Then they hammered the pole frame in place and nailed roughsawed lumber to the framework. A metal roof completed it. Now, most people would be content with dry firewood stored under a decent roof, but Jim and Verdell wanted more. A porch rambles across the front, decorated with rocking chairs. My sis’s handmade quilts soften rocker squeaks, and the grandkids clamber on an antique wagon. Jim made a faux window in the front, folding a burlap bag into a realistic frame. An electrified kerosene lamp offers a soft glow. Inside, this woodshed holds more than four cords of wood to ward off the winter cold. The whole thing cost Jim and Verdell about $700 to build. But tea and toast on the woodshed porch? That’s priceless.
Cher Tom’s grandson Anden finds a good spot to kick back on his greataunt and uncle’s woodshed porch.