So this blog post is not really about any project that I did but rather, one my dad helped with at our house. This past summer we decided it was time to change the unused space beside our downstairs fireplace into built-in bookshelves.
My dad came to see us and do the hard built in bookshelf work. This turned into a wonderful week of my kids helping him, enjoying cuddles on the couch in the evenings with their Pawpaw, playing games and making good memories.
I now get to enjoy two beautiful custom made bookshelves which we have filled with books, photos, and other random Knick-knacks. We certainly filled in the empty spaces.
Growing up my dad was a coal miner, a carpenter, a painter, and owned his own construction business at one point. He was always a hard worker and has never been afraid to roll up his sleeves. I learned the value of hard work early on and could be found lots of times helping my dad dig a hole out back or pounding nails in boards.
There was always a project happening in our house. That was cool when I was 5 but at 15, totally different. When I invited friends over it was always prefaced with an explanation of why there was a sheet hanging between the kitchen and dining rooms or why there were random tools strewn about the house. Truth be told, when I was a teenager I hated it. I just wanted a finished house. I dreamed of having a normal split level house (it was the 80’s & 90’s people!) that didn’t have endless projects to be accomplished. I was a punk.
As I grew up and got over myself and my secret loathing for all home improvement, I am now realizing that I kind of like taking old things and making them new. I also realize owning a home comes with lots of projects so NOW I understand the projects that surrounded me as I grew up.
My dad is now retired and can use his carpentry and handy man skills to help me and my family. He selflessly gives his time and talents and I love the fact that the finished projects are a bit of his print on my home. When I see these built-ins in my home each day, I can remember the time he spent with me and my kids as he completed them.
I watch him work and remember him climbing ladders, sawing two by four wood beams, and painting walls in my childhood home. I still remember when he and my uncle poured the concrete for our new addition and it started to rain. My mom prayed until the rain stopped and they got it done. I have great memories of helping him build our playhouse which only recently was torn down.
Now we make new memories and fill new spaces with grand babies, son in laws and two older, much more appreciative little girls, er, women.
My dad has always been a space filler. He fills space with his acts of kindness, his love, his time, his music, his stories and his creativity. I sure hope I can fill spaces in the same way!