Kyle and The Shed | November 9, 2022

Kyle got a shed.  I think I’m supposed to say “WE” got a shed; except that “we” wrongly assumed our garage would serve as a place for storing garage-related items and not dance parties (or whatever Kyle and his buddies do out there), therefore negating the need for a separate out-building.  My participation in the acquisition of the shed was to select its colors: black and white, the same as our house.  That decision took five seconds.

However, in my forty-eight hours of (Kyle’s) shed ownership, I have come to the realization that while the shed may look like four walls and a roof, it’s really the shape of friendship. 

According to the irrefutable source of all scientific knowledge, WebMD, there are six steps to making friends:

  1. Start the conversation.
  2. Show interest.
  3. Smile.
  4. Share.
  5. Do a small favor.
  6. Keep it going.

Like a tree falling in the forest, is a shed even a shed if you don’t use it to talk about sheds?  The answer is no.  Which meant:

STARTING THE CONVERSATION/SHOWING INTEREST

Starting from the day we moved in, every visitor of the dad persuasion made their way to the backyard so as to discuss shed-related matters.

“I need a shed,” Kyle would say.

“Yeah,” the dads would reply.  “Shed’d be good.  You thinking an overhead garage door?”

“Nah,” Kyle would say, knowingly.  “Can’t go too big; gotta leave room for the rink.”

“Yeah,” the dads would nod, also knowingly.  “Should we run over to Menards and get some wood?”

Which would be my cue to lean out the door and shout,

“He’s not going to build it!”

To which the dads would laugh – they had fun-ruining wives, too.  Also, their laughter, as it were, was a facial movement related to:

SMILING

The #1 thing in the world that makes people happy: Love.  The number two: Sheds.  There’s nothing more fun than some gentle shed-based ribbing.

Kyle and the dads were having a fire over at our neighbor’s house.  As one would expect, the conversation turned to the neighbor’s shed and Kyle’s lack thereof.

“Hey, when’s that shed coming?”  They asked Kyle, knowing full well he hadn’t yet ordered it (The Kosiors are the world’s foremost browsers-before-you-buyers; for example, his dad once went to four different stores TWICE each before purchasing a bagful of screws).

“I’m waiting for [one of the dads who also regularly laments his lack of shed] to get one first,” Kyle said, and everyone laughed; teasing is enjoyable.

“Maybe we should take down that portion of the fence and just extend my shed over,” our neighbor said.  “Like a double-wide.  We could double our storage space.” Then everyone stopped laughing because that was an infallibly good idea.

“If we’re going to take down fencing, we should build one of those fence bars between our two houses,” Kyle said – since, as we know, caring is:

SHARING

An important part of building friendships is to share your commonality through subtle gestures that communicate, “Yes, I, too, am educated on sheds.”

“What kind of a foundation are you thinking?”  One of the dads asked after the conversation on fence bars had reached a temporary end.

“Probably sand,” Kyle said.  “You know, ‘case I want to move it.”

“Yeah,” another dad said.  “Sand’s good.  I did sand once.  I have concrete now so I can park my boat.”

“Yeah, gotta get a boat,” Kyle said.  “After the shed.”

Which was my cue to lean out the door and shout,

“We’re not getting a boat!”

“Hey, I’ve got a sand guy,” one of the dads said once the laughter – wives, amirite?! – died down.  “I can call him, if you want.”  Because, of course, one of the hallmarks of friendship is:

DOING A SMALL FAVOR

After many, many of these discussions, it was confirmed by my husband and the dads that YES, the backyard site Kyle had initially selected while touring the house with the realtor was, in fact, the right one.  However, that particular location required the moving of a small tree.  After many, many additional discussions on that particular tree and trees in general (“I’ve got a tree guy”), our neighbor volunteered to help relocate it.  Digging up and replanting that tree took thirty minutes.  Retelling the story of digging up and replanting that tree (spoiler: it went as expected) carried over for several more months.

That neighbor has actually carried the bulk of the very important small favors, including coming over to look at the postholes when the fence was removed to make way for the shed, asking about the delivery date of the shed, and looking at the new shed once it was installed (and also storing the aforementioned hockey rink while waiting for the shed – thank you, Shane).

And, speaking of install:

KEEPING IT GOING

The shed was delivered over the lunch hour on Monday.  I came home “to see the shed,” as per request.  When I got there, Kyle and the shed guy were standing in the backyard, deep in conversation.  Kyle came in a few minutes later, excited (for Kyle).

“The guy who delivered the shed is a beauty,”  he said.  “I’m going to make him a coffee.”

“That’s great,” I said.

“Did you see the shed?”  He said.

“Yes,” I said.  “Very nice.  Maybe you can invite the shed guy over to see it once you have all your stuff in it.”

“Yeah,” Kyle said.  “Maybe I should have a shed party.”

“Whatever you want,” I said, because friendship is spelled s-h-e-d.


The photo above is of Kyle (and his beret) and his shed.

This week’s news has happy haybales and a great idea for a Halloween tradition.  Read on.


Bismarck’s Cleary Family created a tradition of trick-or-treating for food donations for the Bismarck Emergency Food Pantry – a tradition that has since been picked up by Evan Pena now that the Cleary kids have gone off to college. (KFYR TV)

This is the list of some of the friendliest haybales in North Dakota. (103.3)

Happy 112th birthday to Grafton’s Clarabell Demers!  According to the article, Clarabell is the oldest person in North Dakota and the 41st oldest in the world. (Fargo Forum)

Bob Vila is (virtually) on his way to Nome to award the Nome Schoolhouse the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award. (Fargo Forum)

And speaking of awards, Fargo’s Nora Becker won a ticket to a taping of “Saturday Night Live” after entering the show’s annual essay contest. (Fargo Forum)

And speaking of Fargo, Fargo’s Bob Matthews is known around Hollywood for his woodwork on movie and television porches and decks. (KFYR TV)

This is the cute story of how Lulu the pig joined White Shield’s DeHaven family. (KFYR TV)


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Dad Garages | May 25, 2022

It’s graduation party season, which means that Kyle gets continuous access (and I get continuous commentary) to some of the awesome garages in Grand Forks.  Before we were married, I foolishly assumed the purpose of a home garage was to protect your car from the elements.  Now, after eighteen years with a guy who feels about grass edging the way I feel about throw pillows, I know that a garage is more than a place to store Fourth of July decorations; it’s a way of life.

Specifically, it’s a home-at-home for the type of dad who owns more than one hammer because “they do different stuff.”  For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to call these Dad Garages, even though HGTV insists they are Man Caves (or Mantuaries, which…well, is hard to believe is a common usage) and even though plenty of women and child-free men hang out there.  The thing is, women trust themselves to also sit inside the house, and child-free men don’t need to aggregate all of their possessions into a single room so as to protect it from sticky-fingered/-bodied goobers.  Related, an important part of being a dad is comparing your cool crap to the cool crap owned by other dads, and so a garage is necessary for a dad to causally display his collection of Bluetooth headlamps and combo digital skate sharpener/fish knife/engine de-greaser so that his friend dads can say, “Oh’d you get that at Scheels?  How much’d that set you back?”

The baseline requirement for a Dad Garage is a place to seat at least six adults.  Appropriate seating is crucial because you want to be able to sit in the garage but also still have full visual and physical access outside the garage so as to get your daily required fresh air and monitor all passing vehicles.  Plus, if it’s cold enough, a dad will usually supplement his in-garage heat (because this is North Dakota and a heated garage should be a right, not a privilege) by dragging a fire pit onto the driveway, meaning all of the dads need to be able to watch that the kids don’t mess around with it and also say things like, “Where’d you get the wood, a log guy?  I got a spot down by the river where you can get it for free.” 

To achieve this type of seating, in most cases the vehicles need to be removed from the garage.  One of our friendly neighborhood dads got so tired of moving his truck in and out for parties that he added on an extra bay – not for seating, but to park his truck.  His logic was that people needed direct access to the bathroom inside the house, and if he put seating in the additional bay (instead of the main) everyone would have to walk around his vehicle to go inside.  This was very thoughtful, and also made Kyle very jealous.

Speaking of the bathroom and Kyle being jealous, another one of the dads didn’t want his gentleman friends to have to take off their shoes every time they had to go.  As such, he put a little fenced-in enclosure outside of a garage side door so that the dudes could do their business under the watchful eyes of the moon and stars and nothing else.  As you know, Kyle was pretty put-out that his outdoor bathroom opportunities were taken away when we moved to town, so I hear about that privacy fence a lot.

Typically, seating is accomplished through camping and deck chairs; however, when a dad is really serious about fun he will incorporate bar seating (and, of course, a bar) into the space.  If you’re going to have a bar, you might as well get some beer taps, and if you’re going to get some beer taps you might as well get a kegerator, and if you’re going to get a kegerator you might as well add in those bottles that dispense alcohol shots, and if you’re going to have hard alcohol you probably need cabinetry for all that glassware, and if you’re going to have glassware you should probably get a sink, and really, every garage could use a sink because hoses “do different stuff.”  Our garage has a fridge and a deep freeze, which is “okay for now,” according to Kyle.

After that, the sky’s the limit for Dad Garage features.  One of our friends was recently divorced and Kyle went over to his new house “to check on him.”  Three hours later he came home and announced the friend has a TV and a surround sound system AND a couch; “So he’s fine,” Kyle said.  Another dad put in a window and bench seating along the back so that his kids could have their own warming house – which also serves to educate those boys on space layout options for their own turn as a Dad Garage owners in the future.

For my part, I support Dad Garages by saying, “Oh, really?” and “That sounds neat.”  When I am invited to sit in one, I bring bars and comment on the importance of being outside as much as we can and also, is that a new “I got lei’d in Hawaii” sign, because I really like it.  I also commiserate with Kyle that ours is filled with our post-move junk and dream about the day when Kyle can have a pee spot all his very own.

The photo above is of Kyle with his light-up bar sign – a gift from our boys who felt “he needed it” and he heartily agreed – in our own garage.

This week’s news has a license plate artist and a pack of scouts.  Read on.


This is the story of Grand Forks’ Cole Reimann‘s life-saving bone marrow donation, and also his work to create a national donor leave policy because one of the reasons donors back out is due to lack of PTO. (Grand Forks Herald)

Teachers in Divide County figured out a way to artistically engage Ransum Zaug, a 14-year-old with autism, and now the sky’s – and also, the map’s – the limit. (KFYR TV)

Two parks in Mandan now have Play Communication Boards to help kids interact with one another. (KFYR TV)

Devils Lake Scout Pack 28 gathered up more than 1,665 pounds of donated food for Hope Center. (Devils Lake Journal)


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