Sometime in the late 80s:
One summer, three of my friends and I set out to build a fort in the woods. It was to be two stories tall, complete with a “No Boys Allowed” sign, a guard dog, and cable TV.
We pitched the plan to our parents and asked them to supply the materials. Sounded like a good plan, they said. Fully aware that this dream would never become reality, they took us to a junk yard. That’s where we dug through piles of rotting wood (complete with tetanus-y nails which our parents forced us to reuse in an attempt to spend no money whatsoever on this endeavor).
We worked really, really hard that summer—when we weren’t at the pool. We even wrote a song to sing as we labored:
We work all day,
We work all night,
Until we find the place that’s right
For peace! Peace!
Tra la la la la!
(Copyright 1989 Leslie et al.)
Our “lumber” became a wall. One wall. We finished one glorious wall. Then school started. And that was that. (Our wall stands to this day, in case you were wondering.)
We needed a coffee table for our apartment. So naturally, my first thought was “I can make that.” I went to the hardware store, and looked a little lost. A few nice, old men asked if I needed help. When I told them I was building a coffee table, they smirked, but most of them offered great advice (except for the guy who told me to buy one and paint it). I went to work over Christmas break … in my parents’ kitchen (the garage was too cold). God bless my parents.
Fast-forward nine years:
I married Peter. He came with a basement full of tools, and a DIY list a mile long. Mostly, I’m his assistant. I hand him things and get lunch. However, the more projects we do, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I enjoy it and the less opposed I am to living in a constant state of progress (read: mess). On the right day, I might even admit I like it!