Sunday, December 6, 2009

Building Addiction

For the last 1,000 years I've been trying to get my husband to put the socket plates on, in our kitchen.  He say's he can't find the right screws and if you ask me it's cause he's lost his.  Ok, enough about him and on to my dad cause I don't want to dog my husband completely...just a little.

Unlike my husband, my dad loved to build things.  I think he considered himself less than an expert at building but didn't give a flying banana, he did it anyway.  He started projects and then hoped he had enough smarts to get it right.  One of his favorite sayings while he was working and it was pointed out that something wasn't quite right was "it doesn't matter"; something I heard often because I was always pointing out the somethings that weren't quite right.
First Kitchen Addition
When my parents bought the home I grew up in, it had a large back yard, 3 bedrooms, one bath and a single car garage.  At some point, dad decided the single car garage would make a wonderful enclosed patio.  So he went to work on enclosing the garage door, putting a nice sized window in it's place and then adding sliding glass doors to provide the patio feeling and allow easy access to our large backyard.

After some time it occurred to him that the yard was still large and he could build more.  So, in his downtime he made little drawings of what it would look like to add an outdoor patio to the already enclosed one with the sliding glass doors.  Before anyone had a chance to voice their opinion on the subject the cement slab had been laid and viola!  Patio #2.

2nd Kitchen Addition

It wasn't long before  Mr. Winchester Mansion, was hard at work again.  All I know is, he put some walls up around Patio #2, added a little cement and brick on one end with some god awful green plexiglass to create "effect" and our outdoor patio was quickly turned into an indoor patio.  The sliding glass doors were left in place until 2, too many kids attempted to run through them.  It's a shame we didn't have a video camera back then.  Who knows we might have won Funniest Home Videos.  Makes me sad to think about it the missed opportunities.

Eventually the sliding glass doors came off and the two rooms were combined to make a huge den.  It got mighty cold downstairs.  I must explain.  There were only two stairs but it was downstairs to us all the same and about as close as we were gonna get to having a stairway.  I remember when we'd invite people to "go downstairs", they'd prepare for the long walk.  Women would lift their skirts so as not to trip on them and men would immediately look for the handrail only to be disappointed that after one, two we'd arrived.  I remember some visitors would actually keep the march up for a while, sure they were still moving downward.  It was entertaining as all hell.

So things didn't end at the den with two stairs, noooooo, not that easy.  Having enclosed the second patio gave us no where to sit outside in the Summer time, except in chairs on the grass.  And I know you know what's coming next but what the heck, I'm the writer here so I'm gonna tell you; Patio #3.
Kitchen Remodel

Corrupting a Grandson
Patio #3 was a little unusual in that the cemented area extended out more than it did along the back of the house.  I'm not really sure what the thinking was but "it doesn't matter", that's how it was planned, that was how it was gonna stay.  I just stood by and watched without question because the truth of the matter, doesn't matter.  By this time our Patio left little space to build outward and our big back yard was....well, no longer "big".

Following the patio's came the extension of the kitchen, the add-on of the washroom, the remodeling of the kitchen, the new window in the living room, and so on, and so on, and so on.

At this point, we all thought Dad should be admitted for evaluation.  Seriously, the man went to bed with nails hanging out of his mouth and a hammer in his hand.  My mom woke up with drawings of various parts of the house etched all over her body and Lord knows what they did with the level but no one ever slid off that bed. 

There really isn't enough time to take you through to the end of his building escapades; there were so many.  But I will say, he never filed for a building permit.  You know why he didn't get that permit, right..."it doesn't matter", that's why. 

After a hard days work, teaching the kids to play the innocent
Many years after he'd run out of energy to continue building on, he'd gone to the hospital for a pre-op to angioplasty.  He had a terrible reaction to the dye they injected into his veins and it ended up cracking the heels on his feet so badly, he couldn't walk.  The doctor gave strict orders for him to come home, put his feet up and rest.  Yea, right!  During a time he swore he'd be resting I walk into the room and find him crawling on all fours with what else but a hammer in his hand.  The doctor didn't say he couldn't crawl.

Well, dad certaintly loved to build.  My husband doesn't but then again, if you'd like him to write you a song, move over daddy cause the music man is here!


Me....bunny said...

Oh man...we used to call your house "the house of doors" remember? Yeah, I remember the kitchen remodel and especially the, but at least he did it and most of the time it came out OK and you did get a lot of use from the "downstairs" least we did..`wink~

ps. After your dad past away your mom asked Eric if he could correct a couple of things...Eric still scratches his head when he thinks about


Rattus Scribus said...

Dear Marie
This blog and pictures were great. Anita used to tell me here and there about your dad's love of building, a sort of Never-Ending Story of his own.
Funny stuff. I read your blog above to but I'm going to comment there.