This is a photo of my dad, a mild-mannered gentleman pushing 80 years old.
He's been cleaning out his home of 45 years, a project that has taken him well over a year now. He thinks he's finally close to being done. With school out for the boys and with our family needing a couple of projects to keep ourselves occupied, my sons and I went down earlier this week to help their Grandpa out.
And helping Grandpa is fabulous. Because Grandpa is no ordinary 80-year-old guy; he's a Tool Guy, and helping him means getting to use his tools.
Here's N-son, using the circular saw to take apart an old fiberglass fish pond (actually, we'd used it for turtles instead of fish).
Note: N-son (the one who had the stroke in utero so has trouble with the right side of his body). Circular Saw. Plugged in. Even me, who grew up around these beasts, I made sure I knew where the tourniquet supplies were, but Grandpa just shrugged, and N-son was delighted.
Both boys asked me, "Mom, did this make you nervous?". Me? Ha-ha-ha. Not telling.
Grandpa sent J-son up ladders to fix the gutter. (My dad told me helpfully, "I told him not to fall off").
And J-son obeyed orders, not falling off, but working on the gutters high up in the air.
J-son is a kid who loves tools, but he hates heights. And yet he was in his element; the gutters are fixed.
There were some ordinary pleasures. That is, almost every kid gets to have fun cleaning things with a hose. And yes, playing with water is a treat.
But using Grandpa's Power Washer, well, that's totally cool. N-son started this project, and then jealous J-son took over.
We did more mundane tasks, too, like emptying out a tool shed or two. But the equipment part of the visit was the part that creates the memories. The boys had a blast. Every kid should be spoiled with power tools every once in a while, right?
And we came back with all our fingers and toes.