Monday, April 11, 2005


In Which We Have Many Chiefs...

Any more weekends like this and I'll be crippled. But I don't mind a bit.

It started off well enough. Friday, Her Lovely Self shanghaied me for our favorite ritual when the grandparents visit: The Getaway. We drove as far as we could drive in a day, and ended up in the woods where we spent the next 24 hours either riding bikes or, ahem, availing ourselves of the "bed" portion of the bed-and-breakfast where we stayed. While we were gone, the Grandparents stayed with the kiddos and the Wild Rumpus of Spoiling the Children began in earnest. I think they spent the entire time we were gone shuttling between the mall (The Brownie loves shopping for clothes almost as much as she loves...brownies) and Toys R Us.

Then we came back home on Sunday, the beginning of the last week of The Visit. I actually took today off and Dad and I plowed on the room. We put up most of the walls, finished the cedar closet (except for the cedar part. I'll do that soon) finished the floor and the electricity. I spliced and rerouted the cable. We also cut out a rafter and put in a header so we could have a ceiling hatch up into the very topmost part of the eaves (I don't know what I just said, but it sounded productive). Seeing Daddy dangling among the rafters proved to be too much for the bosses to ignore.


And my, do we have a lot of bosses on this project, chief among them being The Brownie, who has taken to watching us dreamily from the access panel in her closet (soon to be The Secret Door).


That is, she watches us dreamily when she isn't pointing out some flaw in my dad's workstyle ("Papa! Why isn't that wall finished? What are those wires doing hanging down in my special room?")


But unlike the grown-up bosses, who tend to be a little more reserved with their enthusiasm, The Brownie ends each work day with the mandatory Excited Little Boogie:


This is followed by 40 laps from her room, through the hall, into the guest room, through the walk-in attic and into The Secret Door back to her room.


Sometimes other excited parties join in and it becomes a parade.


My dad is starting to feel the effects of his labors. He's in his 60s and can still run rings around me, but this has been a tough few weeks. On top of doing the Secret Room (with ancillary walk-in attic), last week my mom actually made a list for Dad of other things he needed to work on, including a minor repair to the rental SUV, assisting me in moving a heavy piece of furniture to the basement, putting some kind of dealy-bob on the water heater to improve its efficiency, and making a series of improvements upon the hardwood floor he installed last time he was here. Her Lovely Self would never dream of giving him a list (she gives it to me instead and then I cajole Dad into helping me), so she was a little mortified. But as soon as my Dad negotiated another apple pie out of her, it wasn't that big a deal. At least not one he'd admit to.

Earlier today, when we were busily putting wallboard up in the room, my mom appeared with pen in hand and asked dad for his list. He belatedly handed it over, and she added several new tasks to it, then handed it back to him. When she left, he shook his head and looked at me.

"I swear to God that woman is trying to kill me," he muttered. "And when I do die, by Jesus, I betcha the moment I get to heaven, they ain't gonna give me a harp. They're gonna give me a goddam list!"

So it was kind of funny, given his martyred comments, that I caught him in this pose a few minutes later.


I think that pretty much sums it up.


From Somewhere on the Masthead

Love all the pictures! That's going to be some room. Poor Dad......but I think you're right, he loves every minute of it.
First of all, that is one cute little girl.
Secondly, the picture of your dad carrying the cross is brilliant.
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