To do much clear thinking a person must arrange for regular periods of solitude when they can concentrate and indulge the imagination without distraction. Thomas A. Edison
Tulsa, second largest city in the state of Oklahoma, is known for lots of things. The Lochapoka band of the Creek tribe established a settlement in 1836 after being forced from their homelands in the southeast. The center of the original landmark, known as the Creek Council Tree, is located at the intersection of Tulsa’s 18th Street and Cheyenne Avenue. Tallasi, the name given to this place when the tribe first arrived, is translated ‘old town’ in the Creek language. Later it was pronounced Tulsa.
Since this land was considered virtually worthless, Creeks were relocated here until the railroad arrived in 1882 and cattle-shipping became a fast growing economic boom. The first mayor was voted in on January of 1898 with the town sporting a population of just over 1,000 people. In 1905 things really picked up when two prospectors, Rob and Frank, hit Black Gold. The gusher produced 75 barrels of oil per day; all this happening before Oklahoma even became a state, which didn’t take place until two years later in 1907.
Home to Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa has the largest collection of art and artifacts of the American West as well as a handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Ever use voicemail? You can thank Tulsa resident Gordon Matthews for that since he filed the patent on his invention in 1979. Granted in 1983, Patent No 4,371,752 became significant in the development of what we now use to leave messages for those not answering their phone in hopes they will call us back: voicemail.
Interesting facts about Oklahoma include laws still on the courthouse books that say it is illegal to open a soda bottle without the supervision of a licensed engineer. And you can’t take your elephant into the downtown business district, even if he is on a leash.
If all of that isn’t enough to make one rush right on over to Oklahoma, Tulsa is also one of the many locations for Derkson Supershed, supplier and builder of portable buildings, and this is where our story begins. Supershed, family owned and operated since 1995 by the Berrymans, has numerous stores and manufacturing facilities across the Midwest in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.
They began by working with Mennonite craftsmen in Western Kentucky. Supershed handcrafts cabins and cottages, playhouses, garages and workshops, backyard sheds and more, delivering them ready-made as a shell with interiors that can be finished off to whatever degree the purchaser wishes.
“My husband was wanting a garage/workshop,” said Sharon, who tagged along on a trip to visit the local shed company. “But let’s start at the beginning. It’s just the two of us, with all the kids grown and out on their own. We’ve downsized and live in a two-bedroom house on an acreage. It is nice, but small.” As any woman can tell you, having a husband home all day, asking endless questions, needing assistance for finding his own stuff, and a television or radio playing, can make any space seem claustrophobic.
“With Larry home all of the time, there was not a quiet corner anywhere to retreat to. I was moving everything to a different room, only to have Larry move into that same room and turn the television on. If I moved somewhere else, there would be yet another interruption. I couldn’t keep moving from the bedroom to the living room to the dining room, and even if I did, there wasn’t any private space in any of these places.
“I was getting up at 4 a.m. just so I could find a little uninterrupted quiet time,” said Sharon. “Even that wasn’t working.” A long-term solution had to be found.
“I was not getting a divorce at my age, and I knew trying to change my husband or re-train him was not going to work. I didn’t want to move out, but I had to find a solution for giving myself some space, both physical and by this time, emotional,” said Sharon. “I wanted, needed, a quiet corner to have personal devotions, to read my Bible, a place to work. As a writer, I needed to have thinking space; a quiet section of time and a corner of my own in which to just be alone.”
“My brain is not working in this house,” Sharon finally told Larry. “I need a place without distractions, a place that isn’t reminding me to do laundry or dishes. A place where I don’t have a person asking questions or needing something every minute.” A discussion ensued but no solution was immediately forthcoming.
That is, until the Supershed garage-purchasing visit when Sharon happened on a brochure featuring a miniature get-away cottage.
“I knew right then, here was my answer to emotional longevity, to survival, to the salvation of my marriage and the relationship with my husband,” said Sharon. “I began planning that minute.”
Marie Berryman, She-shed/TinyHouse Specialist and co-owner of Supershed says each of their locations in the four different states has staff to assist with design decisions and color. “Our Supershed website even offers a Color Visualizer,” said Marie.
“This is a wonderful tool that allows women to take a blank page and colorize their she-shed. It starts with ‘select your exterior color’ and goes to trim, roofing, and more. In the future we hope to add comprehensive online design tools that will allow customization of building style and accessories in addition to color.
“It’s a great place to start when dreaming, an option for a woman who wants to create her perfect she-shed, to play with color and design, making her very own unique get-away place that suits her specific needs.
“Then we have portable building specialists at each of our locations who can assist with further developing and refining the original idea so that the she-shed being delivered truly compliments the woman’s home, property, gardens and landscaping.
“However, Sharon knew exactly what she wanted,” said Marie. “The model she picked out already came with windows and a porch. Sharon’s chosen color was our soft light gray with white trim which is very popular and blended perfectly with the property location where Sharon planned to place her little she-shed.”
Larry was agreeable to the plan and in short order the Supershed folks had a delivery date on the books.
“Sharon already had a beautiful site that was relatively level and her husband Larry was able to do the few modifications to the land himself, prior to our arrival,” said Marie.
“Our general delivery can be arranged as soon as a truck is available, which most of the time is just a couple of days. In some cases it might be longer, even up to two weeks, if our customer is wanting a custom design that needs to be special ordered.
“Our buildings are always delivered based on our customers schedule preferences. We can even get into super tight spaces. We strive to really deliver on everything we promise including exact placement of the new building. For Sharon, she had the perfect spot already picked out, and it was just beautiful.
“As a she-shed specialist, I know what it means for women to have a space they can call their own,” said Marie. “I’m a woman and I certainly understand this. Emotional environment is everything. Our she-sheds and Tiny Houses even come with built-in ambiance. The sound of falling rain on our metal roof is so peaceful and inherently relaxing. It takes you to a place of stillness and quiet. You can sit on the porch, enjoy rainy days or a shady afternoon when the sun is shining.”
Sharon didn’t need just peace and quiet. As a published author of eighteen books, she especially needed a quiet place to work. “My stories are about ordinary women with extraordinary faith, sisters of the heart, bound together by the ties of Christ’s forever family. Ordinary women, extraordinary faith; these are the stories I tell,” said Sharon.
“And this is why I needed a place of quiet, to be able to think and to listen to how God was leading me in the telling of these stories, which much of the time become life-effecting and life-changing for my readers.
There really wasn’t much to do in preparation. “Larry had to remove a few trees to accommodate his new garage that was going in, and then leveled the site with his tractor for both of our new buildings.”
“I hired two young men who do handy-man everything work, that I knew from my church to install electrical wiring, insulation and drywall. It took Johnny and Matt less than two weeks and I was not their only project during this time frame. Then Larry installed my entryway tiling, carpet in the rest of the little room, and a small window air conditioner,” said Sharon. “I painted the interior and moved in a few pieces of furniture. From start to finish it was one month from ‘I have a life-debilitating problem’ to ‘I’m sitting in my solution’ and that is a wonderful experience,” said Sharon.
“I use my private space every day. When I go in there, I shut the world out. My cup runneth over. I even have that written on a sign in my doorway.”
… My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.Psalms 23:5-6