The Little Red Shed

It was a cedar shed on an old farm that had recently been put up for sale. The owners wanted to clean the place up and get rid of some of the sheds and outbuildings that had become eyesores over the years. My brother-in-law saw the listing online and texted me, “How about this for your barn?”

We drove an hour to look at it on a Wednesday night while my hubby was tied up at work. My brother-in-law was amazed at how the builder of the shed (someone’s Uncle Leonard) used one-foot centers and built the thing as strong as a brick house. No wonder it was still standing after all these decades.

My husband, brother-in-law, and a team of buddies pulled the shed apart in eight-foot sections, loaded it onto trailers, and drove it 60 miles to rebuild at our farm.

We replaced missing boards, stained the weathered wood, and my brother-in-law even added a charming cupola to the top, making it resemble a little red schoolhouse.

Somebody’s Uncle Leonard’s shed is now the place where sheep sleep in soft straw. The place where I sit on an upside-down pail every morning and scratch our farm dog’s chin. Where I assisted a laboring ewe with a stuck lamb this spring, then wiped joyful tears from my cheeks as the mama cleaned her squirmy, lively babe.

I wanted to live on a farm my whole childhood, but we were city people. Every morning that I creak open these rough-hewn barn doors and sheep come spilling out around me for their morning treats, I’m grateful to God for whispering this story into my heart some forty years ago.

I’m grateful to Uncle Leonard and the care he put into building a shed that would last.

And I’m grateful to the ones who said yes with their hearts and hands to helping build this life I love.

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