Chapter 17
Man Cave
Do you have parents that have retired, decided to downsize and have moved house.  What that means is that everything they have stored for umpteen years and never used now gets transferred surreptitiously to your house, box by box, one per visit, usually accompanied by “We thought you might like to keep this…” and a trip down memory lane.  Most people with limited storage space in their suburban residence find this creates a problem, unless you have an attic, a roof space or like one of our friends, a container sunken under their floor (if ever any people go missing in their area…).  We however are lucky enough to have a good deal of storage space both at the house and at the resort so can manage to take most things that need to be saved for future generations to throw out.
At the farm we are spoilt for choice.  Up on the top level, there is the three bay garage, home to one car, some craft equipment slowly collecting dust and gecko poo, all my yard tools, mulch, fencing wire and my mobile potting trolley.  All within easy reach of the house yard and vegie garden.  This brick building was apparently built by one of the neighbours (since moved on).  The fact that this amateur builder cum brain surgeon laid the bricks on the ground outside the concrete slab means that the subsiding of the land has created massive cracks in both side walls that you can see the light of day through!  One day it will fall down or be pushed down by the weight of climbing cherry tomato trees, but for now we have painted it to look all brand new and it is quite a convenient storage space.
Traveling down to the block further there is a tall carport structure or covered area under which the previous owner stored his bob cat and excavator, but could conceivably be used to protect a yacht building project from the elements.  It stores our camper (currently for sale $7,500), occasional vehicles, random furniture and for the first year our friend Glen’s boat refurbishing project.
Forming the back wall of this space is an old, blue shipping container.  How handy are they to have!  It contains all my archived dress making patterns, half a dozen different industrial sewing machines, stacks of boxes of excess sample stock, and just recently Christmas Decorations and assorted memorabilia.  The container has a timber floor, light and power which used to connect to a heater because the previous owner used it to house his much loved motorbikes (which suffer from the cold apparently?).

To the right of the “boat port” is the Man Cave with full length benches, hooks and brackets, a pulley system for lifting and manoeuvring a car engine (not that we will ever do that mind you), more lights than Beacons Lighting and of course its own stereo system with speakers and amp (who doesn’t need that?).  There are steel racks on one side and a mobile timber rack on the other.  A shelf dedicated to camping equipment, plastic boxes on wheels and assorted crates full of who knows what.  There was once a bar fridge but when that decided to heat rather than cool it had to be discarded and so far has not been replaced.  Lets face it, it’s hard enough to drag visiting men away from Cave when it’s time to have dinner.  I sometimes think that if we just moved a bed in there Benny wouldn’t come up to the house for days!

So eventually when Brent’s parents decided that their yard was too much work and the house way too big for just the two of them we knew what was coming and instead of being dismayed at having to take on a whole heap of their stuff, we silently clapped our hands.  You see we already had a place in the shed set aside for a drill press, projects earmarked for a welder, and benches just waiting to be filled with bits and bobs and tools of every kind.  Bring it on!  So they moved to a smaller house with a teeny tiny shed and all the other tools that couldn’t fit in came to us over several trips in a trailer.  There was also a load of steel, some pieces of assorted wood, and duplicates for most of the tools Benny already owns.

Benny pretends that he doesn’t share his shed well.  The fact that he doesn’t allow any of my stuff in it (except some wood from picture framing and a drop saw that he gave to me as a present!) lends some credence to this.  But in reality he likes to show off this space and has done the typical Dad thing and helped Lawson build his first Billy cart, given some of his friends lessons in using the drill press to make candle holders for their Mums and every so often his Dad comes from Brisbane to use the shed for a project of his own.  On these occasions Mum packs Dad a lunch, his thermos full of coffee and a bottle of water and we don’t see him until five o’clock rolls around and its time to go home. We occasionally hear some sounds that lend us to think he is working but more often silence when we figure he is just chillin and watching the world go by, or more likely having a snooze.

Now, I should warn you that if you suffer from “shed envy” then best you don’t come and visit our house.  You will no doubt be taken down to the Man Cave for a tour and if your lucky a sneaky beer.  Benny will tell you about all the equipment and even the history of some.  He will also inevitably proclaim that in his shed he could almost mend a broken heart!

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