The Not-So-Big Re-Do
When Pat and I moved from the 450 not-so-square-foot yurt and into our 2,000 square-foot home-in-the-round, we brought my 30-year old Palomino Appy and two goats! We also brought the 30’ X 30’ canopy which covered the corral area so the pets could get out of the occasion liquid sunshine that regularly blesses Paauilo. Soon, two side-by-side Sunrise Sheds, courtesy of Home Depot, were put into use to house my tack and feed, grooming supplies, and assorted necessary items to keep the barn functional. Ten years later, those sheds had had it! They looked like they had come on the Mayflower, and were a real eyesore every time I hoofed it up to feed, ride or clean. (My new horse, Palmer, had actually ripped one of the doors off to get to the hay!)
An idea began to take hold…The time had come to erect a permanent feed shed; one structure rather than two, that didn’t leak, and that I could be proud of. A shed that spoke my language…the language of decorating!
Clients coming in from the mainland almost always ask me the same question: “What is the most challenging part of living on the Big Island?” I try not to roll my eyes when I share that finding help takes the cake. Actually, finding help isn’t so hard…keeping the help is! Case in point…
I designed my feed shed to be an 8’ deep by 12’ long structure with two functional windows and a 5’ double door for ease of feed delivery and stacking. It would have a shed roof to accommodate rain run off, and be painted to match our current workshop/carport, and soon-to-be-painted home…sort of a cross between beige and buttercream yellow siding with white window and door trim, and mocha facia. Then, I would have a bent twig fence with double gate designed to keep the horse out. Finish it off with a few sweet birdhouses and some large pots with flowers, two chairs to enjoy the barn kitties, and voila…it would be completed with the upmost design flair!
Pat said he could build it with the help of Kyler, our yard guy extraordinaire. Soon the process began. So did disaster. Part way into the build, Pat’s back began to give out, sending him into excruciating pain. Kyler tried to handle the heavy lifting, but by the time the floor was set and the walls erected, the build came to a grinding halt – with NO roof! Weeks went by as the rain poured into my structure. I lay in bed at night cringing at the damage being done to my new floor and walls. (Of course, the Sunrise Sheds were still in use, although one only had ½ a functioning door, and the other was held together with a wing and a prayer!)
I decided to take things into my own hands, and went onto CraigsList to try and find help. I found Will, an unlicensed contractor willing to drive from Pahoa to finish the project. Over a 5-week period, he got as far as getting the roof on, the doors hung, and my shelves constructed. I was so close to finishing the project I could feel it. Then, to my shock and dismay, he pooped out. Hmmm, now what?
At this point, I decided I could get rid of the eyesore sheds, So, in the middle of the night I place my ad on CraigsList: FREE…just come and get them! By early the next morning I had a combination of emails, texts and phone messages from people all over the island who were more than happy to take them off my hands. I did the only fare thing I could do…I promised them to Woody, the first one to contact me. He came the next afternoon to load them into his truck. While undergoing that process, I casually ask him if he knew anyone in the area who could paint my new shed, pointing to it a few feet away. That is my business, he replied. I know my jaw dropped as I looked at him and thought, Well that is a divine appointment if I have ever had one! I asked him when he could start, and he announced, How about tomorrow? Confirmation of the divine appointment!
Woody was awesome! He painted the shed, added the window flower boxes, and re-hung the doors. I loved his play list of oldies but goodies music, and often found myself hanging out and singing along to favorite tunes. Hey Woody, do you think you could build my bent twig fence and the swinging double gate? Next thing I knew, he invited his Hungarian buddy to assist. That guy came twice, but it was Woody that finished the job! And boy, did I appreciate all his efforts. Even Kyler got in on the action again at the very end by helping me fit my 4’ X 6’ rubber matts inside the fencing so I didn’t have to tromp around in mud. Oh, and repair the temporary tarp that keeps the rain away from my entrance doors. (Some day I will have a 40’ X 40’ permanent cover over not only the animals, but my feed shed too!
So, the project started with Pat and Kyler, continued with Will, extended to Woody and Hungarian dude, and finished with Kyler! And the budget? Don’t even ask. Do I have a functional and well decorated feed shed? Why don’t you be the judge… Thanks, guys! Y’all did a great job!