Friday, June 08, 2007

Home Projects [CCR]

Most folks don’t realize that I am looking at moving to Tennessee. It looks like a real possibility that I may forfeit my unofficial status as ambassador of Southern Heritage to these fine folks in Ohio. My company is providing an opportunity that I just can’t refuse, placing me closer to home than I have been since 1987. So now the television shakes again, knowing it is going to get banged around in another moving truck.

Looking around the house I see nothing but little things I must get done before I move. I have a to-do list that has survived almost four years with little attention. It seems whenever I begin to whittle down the pile it ironically grows larger.

Dad never seemed to have my problem. He is always very creative and energetic when it comes to fixing little problems around the house. I’m not saying it wasn’t hard work. But he always seemed to have the spark and the forethought that I struggle to find.

One day I arrived home from school to find Dad and a sledge hammer hard at work in the living room. I’m not sure Mom knew that we were about to remodel, but evidently the notion had struck Dad. He was knocking down the wall and thus a major expansion begun. Mom and Dad built the house with help of family so I guess they were the best choice to design any modifications. But Dad seemed to have the knack of working designs purely within his head. Eventually the house morphed into a rather interesting large living room, dining room, den, and kitchen combination that has changed a little, but basically kept this expanded design.

Dad started other projects in a similar fashion. He constructed a large shed from the materials leftover from building our house. Later he tore down a log house to build a log barn which housed our farm animals. And finally he built a shop that is housing his most recent projects. Granted I wasn’t old enough to know about the original house plans, but everything built since the original house was genuinely Dad’s idea.

Mom and Dad remain in the house they built with their own labor, yet it looks dramatically different from the original design. Mom called and said they were finishing their application of crown molding in all the rooms. Yet I can look at pictures of the house today and still see the many images of my sister and I in our many adventures around home. I guess Dad’s talent to modify but maintain has given us a token of simpler days which is a comfort.

Now I wander into my laundry room looking at the floor and wishing I had that spark. If it were a robot I would already have tore it down and rebuilt it, providing new programs and animation. But for me it isn’t that simple. If you want me to draw or specify the repair, then you have found the person for the job. But I scratch my head and remember my Dad, who seemed to have a gift for making almost anything without all the formalities.

For Dad I wish a most wonderful Father’s Day. He has definitely gained my admiration. If anything, my Father’s Day wish is to gain a spark of his inspiration so I can get this house ready. Soon we’ll meet in town at the hardware store where I will be puzzling over my next project. It’ll give me an excuse to stop and talk with old friends. Then I’ll be ready to conquer that next big project.

Take a moment over the next few weeks and thank a special inspiration in your life. As I told a friend, anybody can be family. Some of my best friends I now consider my family. And if you get the chance, become family for somebody who needs a little boost. Then take a moment and remember those fathers who have moved on and left their legacy with us. Here’s hoping you have someone special to thank or remember as we celebrate our family heritage.