Blogging Along the Brandywine: She Sells She Sheds

I recently had one of those frightening moments when I realized that once again, I’m way behind the cutting edge of trending. It’s been happening more and more.

You see, I was quietly watching a new commercial on TV and here’s this lady in a luxuriously comfy setting in a gorgeous kimono style robe eating a Fiber One Brownie Bite and talking about how she can indulge herself in her “She Shed.”

That’s so funny. I thought I heard her say something like She Shed.

A few days later I saw the commercial again and there it was, clear as day, “She Shed.”

Sally’s She Shed (or Norman bates House).

I grabbed my smartphone and googled the term.

Sure enough, it’s the counterpart to the Man Cave.

It seems the idea started to spread on Pinterest around 2015. The Today Show followed with a report about a lady who lived in upstate New York who had created a She Shed in her backyard with, sofa, books and a loft with a bed, to escape the pressure and stress of work, as well as to get space from her husband.

Her private abode was about the size of a garden shed built in the style of a mini Victorian mansion, complete with window boxes, front porch, and multiple yards of white ruffled fluff inside.

Even Houzz has a She Shed Hall of Fame. Go to www.houzz.com/ideabooks/47242579/list/11-nominees-for-the-she-shed-hall-of-fame

Intrigued? You can renovate your garden shed or start from scratch. A basic home-like garden shed at Lowes starts around $2,900, while fancier models go for about $6,500 - $9,915. (Just how much space do you really need away from your husband?) And this doesn’t include the multiple fluffy, frilly pillows, curtains and cushy daybed you positively need for your She Shed.

So, I decided to run out to our backyard and check out our garden shed. It was built by the first owner of our house many years ago. Several neighbors have told us he’d go out after dark to the houses still being built and, well, shall we say helped the builders get rid of their excess building materials and voila, a rustic 10-foot by 11-foot garden shed complete with a wide front door, two windows and a shingled roof. The rafter work under the roof is kind of funky, but it works.

I pried the door open and was at once met with the musty smell of dirt and mouse droppings in the corners. There were half a dozen over-size flower pots; 150 feet of old hose; two galvanized wash buckets which had acquired a fine patina; a gasoline container; a garden cart; a lawn mower that surely hasn’t been started up in 10 years and a pile of shingles. The rafters and shelves were tastefully adorned with multiple cobwebs. There’s at least one groundhog that lives under the raised foundation and heavens knows what else. Our old cat knows it too and likes to hang out on the sagging ramp going up to the old front door.

It didn’t take me long to realize this was more like the Bates house from “Psycho,” than a She Shed.

Then I started to think of the back guestroom in our house with its colonial four-poster bed; a romantic crocheted canopy cover; a country quilt in my favorite colors of Williamsburg blue and cream; a double-wide window-view out onto our old trees and a collection of books on spirituality. All it needs now is a small flat screen TV.

I think I just saved myself $10,000.

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About Sally Denk Hoey

Sally Denk Hoey, is a Gemini - one part music and one part history. She holds a masters degree cum laude from the School of Music at West Chester University. She taught 14 years in both public and private school. Her CD "Bard of the Brandywine" was critically received during her almost 30 years as a folk singer. She currently cantors masses at St Agnes Church in West Chester where she also performs with the select Motet Choir. A recognized historian, Sally serves as a judge-captain for the south-east Pennsylvania regionals of the National History Day Competition. She has served as president of the Brandywine Battlefield Park Associates as well as the Sanderson Museum in Chadds Ford where she now curates the violin collection. Sally re-enacted with the 43rd Regiment of Foot and the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment for 19 years where she interpreted the role of a campfollower at encampments in Valley Forge, Williamsburg, Va., Monmouth, N.J. and Lexington and Concord, Mass. Sally is married to her college classmate, Thomas Hoey, otherwise known as "Mr. Sousa.”

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