But a couple of weeks ago I saw something and I thought that I had to have one! It's called the SHE SHED. It's a perfect little shed/tiny house in the garden that is the opposite of a man-cave. It can be furnished with whatever makes you happy. For me it would be a shelf of books, of course, pictures of my dear ones, some good art, a soft chair to curl up in and a lovely view through the window. Oh, and a coffee/tea maker and a box of cookies or chocolates, and a bowl of fruit, and my iPod for music. And a furry rug to curl my toes into.... I could go on and on. But I'm interested to know whether this idea appeals to my fellow Reds and what they would need to make it perfect.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Wouldn't it be loverly? Your selections sound pretty perfect, Rhys! Somehow...it doesn't appeal to me. Maybe because it sounds small? I don't know. Invite me to yours --can we have room for a guest or two?--and we'll see. Does it have room service? That could clinch it for me! And I would miss Jonathan. Does it have electricity? A bathroom? Wireless internet? I know, I am over-thinking...
JENN: YES! YES! YES! Please, may I have one? I'll give you chocolate. I'll be your best friend. Pleeeeeease! Do I sound desperate? I am only half kidding. I've joked before that I live in a frat house, but I swear I do. It's all huge basketball sneakers and hoodies littering the place, the constant grind of guitar riffs and drum beats, video game noise, sports on TV, and the ceaseless opening and closing of the refrigerator and pantry doors as they forage for food. Seriously, I am overrun with testosterone around here. I've seen pictures of these she sheds and I am in love. I'd have lace curtains, a bouquet of flowers, my grandmother's Haviland china, a small built in desk, shelves of books, a squashy chair to sit in, and room for my dogs to loll on the floor. If I had one of these, I'd probably never leave.
HALLIE EPHRON: Laughing, Jenn! Wait a few years... In my house, I'm the noise maker and maker of messes, such as they are. And a She Shed would be on more thing to clean. Paint. Roof. AAAAGGGGH! I would like a squashy chair for my office, which is my virtual she-shed, but there's no room.
LUCY BURDETTE: Hmmm, Do I need this? not sure, though you and Jenn make it sound adorable. Actually Jenn's frat house sounds like fun LOL. though I probably wouldn't last a day there... In my shed, I'd need homemade cookies and a full-length lounge. And Hank's questions are perfectly valid--no bathroom? That would not work for me! I'd definitely need dog and cat beds and places for all of you to sit too!
RHYS: Yes, it would definitely need a bathroom! I agree.Maybe even a soaking tub. And a porch to sit in the shade in a rocking chair. And a fireplace for winter. Oh wait, I'm describing a new house!
DEBORAH CROMBIE: I have day-dreamed for years about turning our old shed (the original one-car garage) into a screened-in writing retreat. Does that count? It would have a stained-glass window set into the solid south-facing wall, to let in pretty light but still be private from the neighbors, and the north-facing wall would be screened. I'd have a little desk and a writing chair, a ceiling fan, a pretty outdoor rug, and a hanging bed. Have you seen those? Just for naps, of course. The dogs, of course, could come in with me, and I could enjoy pretty weather without mosquitos!
Alas, I think the old shed is too rickety, and it would require way too much money for a makeover, sigh. And I would have to cross the yard to use the bathroom...
INGRID THOFT: Given that I have no pets or children, and a generally quiet husband, I don't feel the need for a she-shed. However, my office is not especially large, but is very cozy and restful, just as I would expect a she-shed would be. I have a comfy rug, my desk, a print of a favorite John Singer Sargent painting, other favorite pictures and mementos, and books. The kitchen and bathroom are close by, as is my hubby. I do wish, like Hallie, there was room for a bigger chair. Actually, full disclosure, I wish there were room for a daybed so that when inspiration isn't striking, I could take a brief snooze!
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Like Debs, I have the makings of a she-shed on my property - two, in fact! They're both twelve-by-fifteen single-story Greek revival structures, with six-panel doors and original windows. Both were wired for electricity in the past, although the one closest to our barn - once the village post office - had its line cut in Hurricane Irene and it hasn't been replaced.
In fact, "Hasn't been replaced" is the problem with these two otherwise perfect she-sheds. Both have very leaky roofs, and consequently punky boards on the floor. Both are just cladding and clapboard on frames, with NO insulation whatsoever, making them too cold to use in Maine for nine months out of the year. Worst of all, both get closed off by drifting snow in the winter, so if I were to use one, I'd have to shovel...and shovel...and shovel.
That being said, just as soon as I have 15 grand to spare (sometime after Youngest graduates college, I'm guessing) I'd love to upgrade them to real workable spaces. When I do, you're all invited to come on a writing retreat!
RHYS: So, Dear Readers, who has a She Shed? Who would like one?
(And Houston friends, I'll be at Murder by the Book tomorrow and the Woodlands Library on Wednesday!)