Shelf Help

Behold! A column of cacti! A stack of succulents!

Behold! A column of cacti! A stack of succulents!

“I’m thinking of putting in a shelf now that we have all these new plants.”

To be honest I can’t be sure if I said this out loud or if I just thought it really hard, but the bottom line is the same: I knew I needed to reorganize the patio garden and I was pretty sure that adding new levels was the way to do it. I had a modest design in mind: just a single, free-standing short shelf that I could put along the sliding glass door so that the tiny succulent plants wouldn’t be overshadowed by the tomato plant (that is already taller than I am) or the herb planter which stands at about shoulder height for easy watering and maintenance.

“I’m thinking I could cut down some two-by-twelve and just screw some shorter pieces on the sides. Or maybe I could rip some of the three quarter inch plywood down to make a shelf…”

This was my husband. The word “shelf” clearly ignited his latent woodworking-creativity and before I even had a chance to figure out what I wanted in a shelf he had presented me with several construction options. Most of these involved a trip to the hardware store. Together. On a holiday weekend.

My husband has always longed to be a woodworker. The longing has become more profound since our move west which forced him to leave most of his tools behind with his brother-in-law. Secretly I hoped that he would be able to build a shelf so that he’d have a chance to flex his woodworking know-how. That is, until his plans for building the shelf started to involve me going to the hardware store to buy supplies: the exact moment when “his” project turned into “our” project.

I’m probably a bad wife- and possibly a bad human being too- for not wanting to do projects together with my husband. I love that he enjoys woodworking. And pasta making. And sausage making. Somehow I’m always lured in to “help”, although usually I find that I am just in the way. The thought of spending my weekend going out to a big box store, followed by time spent around loud power tools, followed by the inevitable snappy fight brought on by me not being able to find the right tool or the right fastener and getting criticized and getting defensive and finally being banished back into the house so that the project could be finished in fuming silence did not sound like a good time.

“Let me give it some more thought.” I told him, hoping that I could figure out both what I wanted for a shelf as well as a painless way to produce it. My husband did not seem to mind waiting: as a gamer he was eager to get to the computer to enjoy “Double XP Weekend” (which, for all you non-gamers out there, means his character gains double experience points for in-game accomplishments).

He went to his computer.

I went to the grocery store.

Twenty minutes later I was bringing the groceries into the house when I noticed that someone had put some furniture out by the dumpsters. It looked suspiciously like a set of shelves. Some cursory investigation proved that they were a corner shelving unit, partly broken down, but with all the pieces gathered together in a plastic shopping bag. After divesting myself of the groceries I set about re-assembling the pieces on the patio where it fit exactly in the corner that I had in mind.

Now I know I have heard about “asking the universe” for what you need- and on more than one occasion I have made fun of people for this sentiment, but danged if that shelving unit didn’t magically appear the exact second that I needed it.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on May 26, 2013.

One Response to “Shelf Help”

  1. That’s so awesome, it looks great 🙂

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