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Father's Day Weekend

2007-06-18 , ,

On Saturday we had a yard sale and cleared out a garage full of stuff.
The bulk of the sale were things we hadn’t touched in the year since we moved in- kitchen wares, fabrics, housewares, books. I managed to sell
off some of the old computer equipment I’ve lugged around, all PeeCee
stuff but didn’t move any of the Sparcs or their accessories. A doctoral
student bought himself the Ikea ware- a steel bar cart and rocking
chair- which I delivered. A dozen different people asked about a table we had refinished that we were gifting to a friend and used to display items. I could have sold that table ten times. By the end of the day, the books were free,
housewares were pennies and no offer was refused but even then we had
stuff left over to donate to the Goodwill. I’ve reclaimed an entire bay
which means I need to get started on framing and walling to make myself
a workshop. We finished by putting on a barbecue for our parents and
in-laws.

Sunday was Father’s Day. Traditionally a lazy day for dad but I had let
tasks accumulate over the year so after breakfast I got to work. A trip
to the local mega-hardware store later (the blue guys, this time) and I
was out seeding the lawn. The gas company had gouged out a patch by the
sidewalk fixing a leak and I doubt they are ever coming back to sod it.
Everything green (or brown) got sprayed with a treatment for turf grubs.
I don’t think about the insect life in the yard but the gas company’s
digging had revealed a bounty of things that crawl and kill plants.
Between the bugs and the small animals digging for bugs one side of the
front lawn is a patchwork of dead grass so it’s out with the Triazicide,
which seemed to be the least dangerous as these things go. I had
previously cleared the side lawn where the previous owner, for reasons
no one knows, buried mature plantings under a ton of gravel. The ton of
gravel is no exaggeration. I have a three by six foot pile half-hidden
in a corner of the backyard and can’t clear more from the front of the
house until I find something to do with it. I broke up the earth with a
steel rake and seeded that too. I knocked off some odd jobs around the
house and then got down to butchering wood to make a gate for the front
porch. Having a good collection of DIY books and some hand tools does
not make me a carpenter. Not being the owner of a table saw or chop saw
means I get to make mistakes in slow motion and really enjoy them.
Swearing helps. The saying goes, “Putty and paint make it what it ain’t”
but I’m not so sure. It should look okay from the sidewalk.

It wasn’t the first time Nathan saw a water sprinkler but it was the
first time he played in one. I was getting ready to water the newly
seeded lawn and had left the back gate unlatched so he came out from the
yard see what I was up to. He got all excited when he saw me crouched
over the garden hose. His previous explorations with the hose were great
fun (it makes the puddles! Oh and did you know a two-year-old can aim a
nozzle?) so Dad doing something with a little metal thing and the hose
has to be good. I put the water on and after a minute of watching the
arcing water he began running his hands through the streams and poking
his head into the spray. Trying to drink a sip but getting blasted with
the cold water. Laughing and clapping and shouting and stomping. Running
in circles around the sprinkler, jumping over it. Thoroughly soaked in
his orange t-shirt, gray shorts and blue sandals. I wished I had a
camera. He won’t remember but I will.

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