Monday, March 26, 2007

Because of Dad

An author named Jane Orcutt died last week, and many of my author friends knew her, loved her and are missing her. I never got to meet her. Sandra Byrd joined us over at Girls, God and the Good Life this month and her post today is about her friendship with Jane. It makes me sad, but in kind of a distant, helpless way. I can pray for those that are grieveing bnow, but there is so little you can actually do. And sometimes you just want to do something.

Death, of course, always reminds me of my dad. I can look at my grief and see how it has changed over the past two years. I still miss him. I still often think of things I'd like to tell him. He was the one who always wanted to know what I was up to. He was interested in whatever I was doing. He didn't even like to read and still loved the fact I was a writer.

This weekend I tackled a backyard project that had been looming. One of those things you keep meaning to do, but never quite get around to doing it? I needed to hang some lattice from underneath our deck to block off the spot where the wheelbarrow and other miscellaneous items sit. My grandmother, who lives with us, has a patio out there, and putting up this lattice would make things look so much prettier down there.

It was a beautiful day Saturday so I took my measurements and we all went off to Lowes to buy the supplies. Jeff helped me, of course. I especially needed help hammering a 2x6 to the rafters that hung 9 feet above us. But I was the one that measured, cut and hammered that baby into place. It looks great - and I have my Dad to thank.

See, I was the oldest of two girls so it was me that helped my dad with carpentry, lawn and any other project he could think of to do. He taught me how to use saws and hammers. How to measure wood and to not be afraid to build. I suppose there are lots of people who could have done that simple project outside, but my confidence to tackle the project at all came from years of watching my Dad. And if he were alive, it's the very thing I would have called and told him. "Thanks Dad! You taught me to do that!"

I had a rough time growing up, and I have so many bad memories. So when I have a day like today, when I can genuinely point to something in my life and say, "Hey! You helped put that there!" Well, it's kind of cool.