My dad built the house I grew up in, and while this house was being built, I spent many hours on the worksite trying to stay out of trouble and helping as much as I could. I remember my brother and I spending hours looking for scrap materials like nails, wire and pieces of wood and creating new projects like cars, boxes, and mini-houses. He tolerated all this because it kept the worksite clean and it kept us busy.
My dad is also really good at fixing things. Any toy, appliance, car that was “broken” magically came to life again with him tinkering. I learned quickly that he is good at fixing things not necessarily because he knows how to fix anything, but because he is good at tinkering and isn’t afraid at trying different approaches. He also perseveres because he can’t stand having to spend more money on buying things to replace the broken items! Having five children would do that to you!
22 years after my dad built our family home, my husband and I embarked on an epic project that put our perseverance, tinkering abilities, and emotional and physical strength to the test. We bought our first home, gutted it and renovated it… mostly all on our own. We learned how to frame, drywall, paint, install windows, stucco, build stairs… the list goes on and on. I have to say, though, without my experience of being around my dad while he built a house I don’t think I could have done it… I don’t think I would have even attempted it.
I am grateful for the experiences I had with my dad because , even though the project brought us to the edge in many areas at many different levels, we did it and we are now living in something we worked on together. More importantly, my children are growing up in a house that we built and will be continuing to build as they grow up. I am glad that they get to experience what I experienced with my dad. Oh, and today, my 69 year old dad is in the middle of building another home!