My Workbench


The last snow is gone from the ditches, a green haze forms a halo in the trees and across the road, a colony of lilies have sent forth a few brave scouts, just to have a look around.

It might be spring.

Which means the projects that have waited patiently all winter on my workbench must now be addressed.  To prioritize, I classified them into the following categories:

Things I must get to, without exception

This category is further divided by the year during which each project must have been gotten to.

Things assigned by nature

In a drawer under my workbench, there is a notebook that chronicles all of Mother Nature’s misdeeds around the place.  I give her credit.  She works harder and faster than I do and all without power tools. She can rust, degrade, disassemble and deteriorate faster than I can keep up.

My list includes the toppled chimney on the milk house, the missing shingles from the garage roof, the sun-scoured door on the potting shed and countless invasions of hornets and gophers.

She took her sweet time creating this havoc, I only ask that she respect the sweet time it takes for me to address them.

Things assigned by spouse

Despite the melted snow, the swelling buds and the foolhardy lilies, spring officially begins after my wife visits the Home and Garden Center in town.

Once she has done that, the entire inventory of the gardening center migrates into my shed from where it must be lugged, shoveled, planted and mulched – until a late season snow restarts the process all over again.

Things that are great ideas

I always wanted to restore an old truck. Specifically a 1952 International Harvester pickup like the one I drove for awhile after college.

Other guys have old trucks. Why (other than gobs of money) do I not have one?

This year, I put my foot down.

I told my wife, “I’m going to buy and restore a 52′ International pickup.”

“Fine,” she said, “but first clear enough space in the shed to park it.”

[Note: all entries in this category shift to the next]

Things I wanted to do but don’t want to do anymore.

“90% of the stuff out there is yours,” I tell her.

She shakes her head no.

“Why not?”

“Because what you call my stuff is really all the things you promised to do for me.”

“So before I do what I want to do, I must do all the things you want me to do?”

She shakes her head yes.

[Note: all entries in this category shift back to the first]


Author: Almost Iowa

40 thoughts on “My Workbench”

  1. You do know that you have to prioritize, don’t you? And there is one that must be Numero Uno on your list. The others are small potatoes compared to “Things assigned by spouse”. Men have been known to stand in fear if they did not complete that list.

  2. Even those of us who live without a spouse know the dynamic. It may be internal, but it usually starts with the phrase, “You know, I reall ought to…” I did recently clean out my outdoor storage closet. Now, all I have to do is deal with the pile of stuff on the patio.

  3. I have long admired your wife’s ability to manage her marriage, but this latest post simply blows me away. She needs to write a book. Women across the country would stand in line to buy it.

  4. It takes a sharp eye to point out all the ‘things assigned by nature,’ and I lend my observation skills to this worthy cause. My efforts lengthen the list of ‘things assigned by spouse’ and several of these items bleed into ‘things that are great ideas.’ I’ll miss Patrick, but I’m sure we’ll get reacquainted when the snow flies. -Molly

  5. You have a tool bench, and I have two potting tables. There’s one inside and one outside and both are covered and surrounded with jobs. And, then, of course, there is that list I have made for my husband. Ah, summer. 🙂

    1. Two potting tables… Hmmmm, that is one of my chores. The milk house has been taken over by hornets and I have to clean it out, install a dutch door and build potting tables. I will get to it but for now I am busy building walkways in the vegetable garden. My wife is deathly afraid of snakes, so I figure by making gravel and stone walkways, at least she will not fear stepping on one.

  6. The answer is obvious to me – simply build another shed just for the truck. Hmmm or let it have a room in the house?
    It’s such a worthy project a solution WILL be found.

    1. Oh, but Grasshopper, there are so many ways to slip the trap. One is to ever so subtly toss all that crap in the shed and forget about it. 🙂

  7. I’m telling you Greg, she’s sharp as a tack! You were toast before you started! Maybe don’t make quite so many promises that you KNOW you won’t keep. That’s another asset your wife has……a memory like an elephant!! You haven’t got a chance.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

      1. OMG!! I’m cracking up. 😳 Good luck trying to pull that one off.
        🔹 Ginger 🔹

  8. Wow – you never had a chance!

    Good luck with the list. If you roll fewer items onto 2019’s list that you rolled in and acquired in 2018, you’re ahead.

  9. I spent hours removing rust from, sharpening, and oiling tools yesterday and the first thing my husband says to me is “When am I going to get my workbench back?”. Then I pointed out that half the bench was covered with things he didn’t feel like putting away over the winter. “Start there and then we’ll talk.” The never-ending game of shifting blame. I won this round.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: