Sunday, May 21, 2006

Power Tools Can Be Fun!

Whew, what a week! Sean’s folks were with us for five days, smashing Mary Ann’s firm “three-day-stay” rule. I was glad she did because if you’re going to drive 13 hours you might as well stay a while.

Our basement is finally finished and my in-laws were the first to stay down there. The basement is colder than the rest of the house so we put a baseboard heater in the bedroom down there; however, we learned that setting it on “low” generates lots of heat. Unfortunately the first night felt a bit like the first level of Dante’s Inferno … we got that straightened out for the rest of their stay.

One thing Sean’s dad likes to do when he visits is help with chores. Not a bad quality in a father-in-law. And the major job we had was to put together a swing set. He and Sean, Michael and Amy worked for the good part of two days putting it together.

They started working in the garage because it rained five of the five days they were here. Lovely. But it was great for Michael and Amy because Sean and Chuck let them help a lot. They took great joy in helping and Sean and Chuck were so patient. Actually, it made me realize how big my kids are getting because they were able to use power tools quite effectively.

(One of the days they were working on it I read there was a team of surgeons who were operating on a set of conjoined twins. I joked with Sean that if those doctors could separate conjoined twins in seven hours, why did it take almost double that to put a swing set together?!)

After they’d assembled a good deal of the set in the garage, they grabbed the only two hours of sunshine the whole weekend to move it to the backyard. By then the kids were so excited they could hardly stay off long enough to let Sean and Chuck finish bolting the beams together.

The finished product is great: three swings, monkey bars, a rope ladder and slide. The kids have logged lots of hours already. They've also managed to swing so high that Chuck had to find extra stakes to drive into the ground to keep the set from tipping over. And we were worried about a trampoline...