I had been living in a small house for years, renting it from an agreeable Mexican landlord who lived next door. One day he moved out and asked us if I would like to rent both houses. Knowing several people who were looking for affordable housing, I said yes without hesitation. After the landlord moved out, we quickly got a group of people together and settled in. This shed was in the back of the lot. The landlord said to use whatever I wanted from it. It was packed with boxes and cans, old wood, appliances, even a barrel of umbrellas! But the roof had been leaky for some time and everything in it was rusted, moldy or decayed.
I just ignored it for a while, but when the kids started to come it obviously had to go. So we knocked it down, got some dumpsters, filled them and had them hauled away. We planted a nice flower garden where the shed stood and gradually the place actually became kind of pretty. I was surprised at the difference. It is one thing to have a picturesque building to photograph. It is quite another to live with what was essentially a big pile of trash. I had been getting down on myself and my lot in life for a while; getting rid of this junk made a big difference in my outlook.
A North Fifth Street Story