In the summer of 2010, I bought a house. A shell of a house, actually. But after hunting around for what seemed like forever, I followed my brother, a carpenter/construction expert, into this unfinished rehab. He exclaimed, “This is the one for you. This is your new house. You can start from scratch and make this into anything you want.”
We did. The family did. My brother, Mike, was the mastermind. He went with me on countless visits to what had become my favorite stores – Menards, Home Depot, and Hobos. He was the contractor on the job.
a plumber (my son-in-law, who that first day jumped down into the rat invested crawlspace without a second thought and installed a whole new plumbing system)
a security salesman (my brother-in-law who spent almost every weekend of his summer, working on my house rather than relaxing at his cabin by the lake)
a fireman/roofer (my other brother, who very nearly got attacked by the squirrels living in the attic)
a retired electrician (my 80 year old father, who loved to design, invent, and draw blueprints)
an estimator/fabricator (Jim, who fortunately liked to man the old wheelbarrow we used as a barbecue grill to make hot dogs and such, besides doing other odd jobs needing to be done)
an MRI specialist (my sister who hated painting, but did it anyway)
a mother/wife (my daughter who didn’t mind getting her hands dirty with any job necessary, and was there without fail, with two small children in tow)
a machine operator (another brother who did odd jobs to assist)
and various other family members and friends who belonged to this project
What a summer!
Each weekend, late in the afternoon, an ice cream truck could be heard from a distance. All of the kids, and an adult or two that needed the much deserved break, would head towards the usual stopping point near my house and wait. He probably made more money on our block than any other during the weekends that summer. I will never forget the comment this ice cream man made towards the end of that summer. He exclaimed, “I love this part of my day. Watching all of you, obviously family, working together, laughing together, and enjoying each other’s company in the midst of all the hard work. There is such a bond that is present here.”
He was right! Our family is a strong one, deeply committed to promoting the happiness and welfare of each other. We are all different, we have our differences, but we come together in need, and we spend a lot of time enjoying each other’s company. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am blessed!