Deconstruction, in a good way

I have tried to make it clear that I’m not especially good at building things, or putting things together. But I felt really good about taking something apart recently.

We bought a new, much larger shed back in the spring because the old one, which came with the house we bought in 2000, was falling apart, even rotting in places. Still, it was built sturdily enough that I couldn’t just pull it apart. Fortunately, I called my friend Norman, who brought me implements of destruction: a crowbar, a sledgehammer and a hacksaw. (He brought his son Sam, who I’ve known since he was a couple months old; he now has a beard, which is a bit disconcerting.)

The Daughter actually used a screwdriver to remove the doors. Then I used mostly the crowbar and took off the front, sides, and top. I thought the back would be tricky, it being so close to the fence, but I was then able to tip the shed over without having it crush me. Once the back was removed, the frame pretty much collapsed. I thought I might have to use the sledgehammer more often, but I picked it up only a couple times, to separate one section from another. This took about three hours over two days; there is still disposal to deal with, with the 2 by 4s going to my in-laws. Still, it gave me a real sense of accomplishment, something I achieve mentally all the time.

I often forget that I love doing physical labor. It doesn’t happen at my current job very often. At my position at FantaCo back in the 1980s, I would haul in the new comic books, or our publications. I’d wander around the store helping customers or work in the back room stocking inventory. But just doing exercise is boring to me; can’t watch video workouts. Riding the bike is good because it’s functional. The now rare opportunity to play racquetball is fun. Using the stationery bike is OK because I can do something else (read, watch TV).

It’s this need that explains why I helped our choir director move last month. I LIKE moving other people; it’s good physical exercise, but lacks the emotional angst of moving oneself. It was only the unloading side, too; he got professional movers to load the truck; all the movers, three other volunteers and I had to do was unload. As moves go, a piece of cake.

Picture from Treehugger


6 thoughts on “Deconstruction, in a good way

  1. Breaking stuff is fun. I like prepping gardens for many of the same reasons you list: there’s a special joy in ripping up weeds, striking new dirt with a shovel and really getting in there.

    Personally I also like to “just exercise” – run on a treadmill or what have you. But it gives me time to zone out and not think for a little bit.

  2. Exercise is definitely a lot more fun when a sport or task is involved. I’d much rather race than sprint on my own or kick a soccer ball around instead of lift weights.

  3. I’m a seasoned mover. Stopped counting after 30 times myself, but since I’ve had family (in two different incarnations: First Husband and Last Husband. If Lex doesn’t work out, I QUIT!) I’ve completely supervised eight full-family moves, all to rentals. I LOVE the tasks of sorting, getting rid of stuff. But even breaking down boxes is too much for me.

    Once, when my mother wanted to get rid of the chipped-to-hell Blue Willow which would have been worth NOTHING on Antiques Roadshow, we had a dish-smashing party. Put on sunglasses to protect eyes, and threw them against a cement wall. Now THAT was fun, and funny to boot! Thanks, Rog, Amy

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