Friday, June 09, 2006

Building Walls...

... brings us closer together.

Over Memorial Day weekend, my wife (Lisa), my mom (Debby), and her husband (Steve), all got together for that most traditional of all family activities -- building a retaining wall. What? Your family doesn't follow this tradition? I feel so sorry for you. It's amazing that you turned out so normal coming from such a dysfunctional family. Don't worry. Your embarrassing secret is safe with me.

Seriously, though, my wife and I decided to build this retaining wall in our side yard. Ok, she decided to, and I went along for the ride. We made our plans and took the measurements and before you know it, we were the proud owner of a pile of bricks, gravel, and topsoil. Now all we had to do was turn it into something structural. Fortunately, I did a quick search and found detailed instructions on how to build a retaining wall. What did we ever do without Google?

We started the project early. We had heard that it was going to be hot that day. It was work. I have a new respect for those who make their livings by the sweat of their brow. Each of those bricks weighs about 25 lbs. This isn't much when you are just lifting one, but if you continue lifting it over the course of, say, four to six hours, it begins to feel a trifle heavier -- about on par with a pickup truck -- one of those big Ford F350 models like my brother has.

Still for all the hard work and sweat (and even a certain amount of bloodshed), we had the sense, at the end of the day, of a job well done -- and done together. There's nothing like a shared project to bring groups and families closer together. In years to come, I won't remember the sore muscles and the unpleasant heat. I'll see the beautiful garden and remember the joy of working beside those I love.

What projects have you done with friends and/or family that brought you all closer together?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks very nice! Good job!