Echoes of Hidden Treasure


Markku and Tess
TRH with the four legged beast when she was a baby

TRH (The Retired Husband) has been at it again. I thought the re-arranging of his man cave was complete. How wrong was I !

Yesterday –

TRH: My current project is nearly ready.

Me: Oh. That’s good. What is it?

TRH: A sandpaper storage system.

Silence. Wow, I thought. He needs a storage system for sandpaper ?!

TRH: I’ve done a bit of a clean out in the small  shed too. Found stuff I forgot I had. And stuff I thought I’d lost.

Me: Really? That’s good.

Silence. That shed is so full of stuff I’m not surprised, I thought. I never venture in there. It’s a hazard to women. Full of man stuff. Boxes and boxes of strange things that serve some purpose unknown to me. Which is how I prefer it.

And a car engine that belongs to son #1. The original he took out of his Toyota Sprinter and replaced it with an illegal hotted up engine. That, and other changes, ended up with the car being defected. It now sits in the car port covered up with a tarp. Never will he part with it. One day it will be transported to his home (when he has one) and he can store it. Along with the engine and the four tyres that are perched against the fence. But  I digress.

Today – I came home from my appointment with the exercise physiologist (yes, I have one of those) to be met with this –

TRH: It’s finished. Come and have a look.

Me: Coming….

And here is what I was shown –

A storage area created out of scrap timber that has all his sanding tools and papers in one place. Previously the papers were shoved in drawers and cupboards, resulting in a big mess. Stuff pushed to the back never saw light of day.

Not only has he created a practical storage unit – he can see at a single glance what he has. AND he has a substantial amount of clear floor space. I just KNEW he didn’t need to build that extension to his man cave.

This work bench has been made redundant. It is now waiting for a new home.

In his countless trips to Bunnings over the last thirty years, TRH has bought sanding belts. Seeing them in the store always reminded him that he had none. So he bought one. Now that he has created this wondrous storage space and moved all the sanding stuff into its new home, he uncovered a treasure trove of – you’ll never guess: unused sanding belts! This is just some of them. He will probably never need to buy another one as he also has a tool that cleans them, thus extending their working life.

The other sanding treasure he found was this magic sanding wheel. Follow the white arrow. It leads your eye to the thing. It looks like a weird plastic brush thing. A few seconds of sanding has an already sanded piece of timber feeling like satin to the touch.

Underneath the wheel machine thingy is a storage area for scrap timber. Of course.

And there is more!

Earlier in the week our neighbour’s son popped over to ask if TRH could tell him where to buy a new clock work to replace their broken one. In 1999, TRH made two beautiful wall clocks out of river red gum. One he gifted to our neighbour. The other hangs on our wall in the family room.

He knew he had bought an extra set or two. But didn’t know where it was or if he still had it. Well – you can probably guess where this is leading. Yep, he found it together with other clock parts – tucked away in a cupboard or drawer in  that small shed.

But wait! There is still  more… many, many years ago when we had a wholesale hardware business (yep! we did) we imported all sorts of weird stuff from Finland. Amongst the weird stuff was a sample ultrasound cleaner. That was way back probably in the 1980’s. I recall it vividly. It was fabulous for cleaning all sorts of fiddly bits and pieces, including jewellery. When the business was sold, I asked him for it. He didn’t know where it was. You’ll never guess – he found it!

Here is the box it was in. TRH had no idea what was in it till he opened it. Yep – the ultrasound cleaner. Brand new. Never been used. It had been in the box so long the plastic wrap surrounding the cord had perished totally except for those crusty bits that peeled off like sunburnt skin.

It even had the instructions in it. Unlike the instructions for my woodburner, these were well translated. However, the paper it was printed on felt a bit like oilcloth and the print from the other side was showing through. Still legible so no problems with knowing how to use it. It’s not exactly rocket science: fill to the line with water, add a dash of detergent, put items in for cleaning, turn on 3 minutes, turn off. Rinse inside of machine and cleaned items.  After more than 30 years, I have that ultrasound cleaner now. I wonder if the 12 month warranty is still valid given it has never been used?

© Raili Tanska

PS – TRH has barely touched the surface of what lurks in that small shed …

Steps for Peace

Changes call for innovation, and innovation leads to progress. Li Keqiang

14 thoughts on “Echoes of Hidden Treasure

  1. I Have news for you Raili. Now this might come to you as an even bigger shock From what I have read, so I want you to brace yourself and try not to get disappointed. Because I have found this to be a hard fact for partners and it is one that I have over the years of doing this stuff in ones own house, a hard realization. I have witnessed this phenomena in all men who have a workshop at home and the reason for this thing I am about to tell you is to do with lack of space (or workshop not big enough for certain types of jobs syndrome)
    So I hope you are sitting down? are you ready? ok, here goes, brace yourself…….. “The workshop will never be finished, it’s forever an ongoing project in itself”. There, I have said it.
    Because as long as there is limited space – the workshop will have to go through many changes to get the right and desired conditions to be effective enough to combat wasted time.
    So don’t be surprised if you see more of this “getting things sorted in the workshop” -going on in the near future. You seem to do a very good job already in humouring him, Like my partner does with me. That’s what makes you special 🙂 and we love you for it. So thank you for putting up with us men and our man caves and bless you 🙂

    1. Reuben, I was sitting down when I read your very well stated perspective on the evolution of the man cave.Thank you for clarifying that for me. It has just confirmed what I suspected all along. And you know what? (perhaps you need to be sitting for this bit) It may come as a surprise to you that there is a similar female phenomena, although surprisingly it is not called a girl cave. It is – the craft room. Mine has been undergoing a similar up and down scaling as the man cave. Even though I have not blogged about it, mine is also in another make-over now that son #2 is no longer living at home. His room is in the process of being converted into my craft room. To his horror it is being ‘girlified’. This of course provides further incentive for him to continue living in his own space out in the big wide world. Just what would we do without our partners – you are all so uniquely special, yet similar. Bless you too 🙂

      1. Ha Ha! 🙂 you know I believe that is also true. After I typed my comment, I wondered if females where also guilty of such a thing. And I remembered that My Mum was always (every 2-3 times a year) re-arranging the furniture around the house. According to my Dad, this got worse when I left home. And he would sometimes wonder when he came home from work, if he had come home to the right house! lol. There would be no warning, Mum would just suddenly do it. And then ask us what we thought till after the fact. I think (now that Dads retired) she now tells him her plans. 😉
        Yes I think it is fair to say….we all do it don’t we. 🙂 And with that said, I shall go back to what I was doing….which funny enough and you wont believe this, but it was re arranging and sorting my workshop down in the cellar. 😀

  2. I love the story an also love the commentary. I too have a husband with a man-cave. He also has barns. Barns and more barns. Did you know the more barns you have, the more stuff appears to fill up said barns? I have an office which often threatens to drown me in books, mail, files, geneology stuff and more plus a closet so full of clothes I don’t wear, I could open a store. (My family was in the ladies clothes and shoe business so I have always been surrounded by clothes, even if I wear the same ten things all the time. Back to the husband, He’s forever rearranging things to make room and filling that new bit of room with something else someone will need. And once in a blue moon or twice, people do need the stuff. The right bolt, screw, sander, shop vac (which never came back), 2×4, 4×4, cedar post, fencing nails and fence itself, and oh how I wish someone needed to buy some old hubcaps. He collected them as kid and we still have many sets. Hmmm, My stuff is sentimental, while his is “useful” someday to someone, and sometimes, he’s right.

    1. Know exactly what you mean! Our sons have added to the Dad collection. A hidden corner of our back veranda houses a car engine, a whole set of tyres, assorted gym equipment……oh, and a whole car under wraps in a carport because it has been so over-modified it is illegal. It’s all space we can’t now use – in and of itself it also magically collects assorted bits of dried leaves, dust, spiders, other icky things. Thing is neither of the children live at home anymore. We have become custodians of their ‘stuff’ !

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