A Porch of My Own

A Porch of My Own

Friday, August 16, 2013

Me vs. the Pump House

I only meant to put up a new can of paint I had bought. I hadn't meant to spend two weeks building shelves, installing plywood on walls, moving everything from the pump house to the garden shed, and painting the inside of the pump house. But one look at the unorganized creepy pump house where our paint is stored and I had one of those Popeye the Sailor Man moments - "it's all I can stand and I can't stand no more"! Does that ever happen to you?

We had plans to reorganize things there after Rick retires. We're going to build a lean-to and move the riding mower from where it sits now in the middle of the garden shed. But that day I made up my mind I couldn't wait another minute. Never mind if it was 100+ degrees. Never mind there wasn't a place for shelves in the garden shed. Never mind I was in the middle of several other projects. My mind was made up and common sense be damned!

I don't want to talk mean about a little building that has served us well for storage and protection of our well. But the pump house has always been creepy. It is dark and crowded and gloomy and the ceiling is low. There are no windows. Things are lurking there. I've painted and decorated the outside and it looks cheery and happy. Until you open the door. There is so much stuff in it you only have a narrow place to walk in the middle of the room. I avoid it as much as possible.

I'm familiar with creepy buildings. My dad had a workshop that was super creepy. I wouldn't go inside. After he passed away, I went as far as the door and Rick went inside and got a huge old rusty pipe wrench for me to keep. I could see that from the doorway. My dad was a pack rat and never threw anything away. He also never cleaned. The shop was dark and full of those creepies-who-must-not-be-named. And snakes. And mice. And goblins and trolls.

I have my method of entering the pump house. First I open the door and stand back a step or two. Just waiting. Giving anything there a chance to hide. I look at the ceiling to make sure no creepies are waiting there to jump on me. I sniff the air because sometimes you can smell a critter; I once smelled the musky smell of a snake before I saw it in our backyard in Houston. Then I zero in on what I want, take a deep breath, and move in fast and retrieve the item. I don't look around when I'm in there because I don't want to see what might be there looking at me! Scary!

But on this day I've decided I won't be defeated any longer by the creepiness of this pump house. I'm going to face it and I'm going to be the winner. And I'm not just going to accept the creepiness of it; I'm going to take the creepiness away! I refuse any longer to have a building here that I am afraid of.

First I went to the garden shed and pulled things away from the wall where I was going to build shelves for my paint. We had scrap plywood in the pump house and I used that to cover the studs in that section of the shed. I had to make a trip to town to buy one piece I needed. We had some leftover insulation in the pump house and I put that behind the plywood. I try to utilize leftover things instead of tossing them out. For storage buildings it's more important to me to use leftover materials as much as I can rather than new. For a project in the house where looks are more important I might prefer new. After installing the plywood I built the shelves and attached them to the wall. I feel happy now with all my paints so easy to get to.

Once I got things moved and organized I remade the shelves in the pump house so I could move the freezer from the side wall to the back wall. Then I mixed some leftover paint and painted the walls. It's not beautiful, but it sure is an improvement! I should have taken a before picture but it was just too horrible.

After Rick retires we need to replace the roof. We'll put some plywood down under the tin so we can seal it better. And before then we need to put a new door on. So there are still things to do but it's definitely less creepy already! I may address the floor then but it is a pump house in the country and we're in and out with dirty boots all the time, especially in the winter, so I have to keep that in mind and keep it real.

I had a few things that didn't fit anywhere; they were parts from a broken wagon, a galvanized trash can, a tripod cooking stand. I turned all these into decorative accessories, painting some of them, hanging them on the outside of the sheds or putting them by the bunkhouse. I painted the old trash can and I'm going to turn it into a planter. 

It's taken two weeks and I'm declaring myself the winner in the pump house war, but it sure did put up a fight!

Now, back to my other projects. The chore list fills the chalkboard and there are several I am working on that aren't on the list. Hmmmm, maybe I need to make a bigger chalkboard my first project!

One of the projects I had been working on was a little bench. I did get a chance today to finish it. I added a piece of iron fencing to it as a back. We've had the fencing for years and have used it in different ways. I like how it turned out.

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