By Ron Baker
I’m looking out my upper storey window as I write this editorial. The sun is shining – upon a rather cool (extreme weather warning) day!
Our back yard shed, which started out as a plastic contraption, has seen a number of transformations. When we originally put it up, a cement pad was the foundation. The walls were all plastic – one even had a window!
Shortly thereafter, we moved the shed to a plywood floor when we moved houses. Literally just across the street, so we picked up the shed (with a few volunteers) and walked it across the street. At this point the shed was still fairly new and behaved well.
But then our wind picked up one night. Our neighbours informed us that a wall had blown out of the shed, and some of the insides were outside. We gathered all the parts and put the shed back together. Good for the moment – which moment was only momentary until the moment another blast of wind came.
At that point we bought a few sheets of chipboard to replace the panels that had gone AWOL with the wind. The inside structure was strengthened with board slats. Each wooden piece was primed and painted with left over paint.
Until another wind the following year basically devastated the whole structure! The plastic doors were still in place – a sheet or two of chipboard survived – but the rest was either gone or in shambles.
At this point we finished the cladding wars by putting up more plywood and chipboard. The inside structure was strengthened and sufficient screws used to provide a shelter in the time of storm. The shed is now standing tall and proud!!
Of course, the big discussion is not really about the cladding. The real discussion is what is inside. If the insides were inconsequential we could have just left them on a palette in the back yard. No need to spend our resources to provide outdoor cladding. But the insides would not survive without protection. Rust and dust, peeled paint and engine destruction would have resulted.
Now, for you that have already jumped there – this is not just about outdoor cladding!
I’m talking about the things that are of consequence in our lives. The heart of the matter, so to speak. What are we doing to protect our most valuable treasures? When the wind blows and some walls fall, are we ready to rebuild until we find a wall of protection that cannot be blown over? Or will we crumble, leaving the rubble where it stands (or sits, or lays), and hope against hope, and against the truth of observations of what we have seen in others, that nothing devastating will happen?
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