It seems that every summer we embark on a building project. In reality, Scott and I do not possess the knowledge, the skills, or the tools to build with anything other than Legos. Thankfully, Mr. Bill always volunteers to assume the roles of chief engineer and foreman on each of my projects.
Two summers ago we built the tree house. Since its
construction, Robby has spent countless hours in his little tree oasis,
fighting off imaginary pirates, fishing for sharks and blasting into
space. This past winter he discovered that by wetting the slide at night
and allowing it to freeze, he could slide into the snowbank on ice,
just like a penguin. He seemed to have a great time, but I have to admit
that I wasn't terribly fond of landing face first into a snowbank.
year we built the pool stage. Although it broke under the weight of the
pool, it was repaired and transformed into another deck. I'm toying
with the idea of putting a screened gazebo on the platform, creating an
outdoor living area where I can relax, write and remain bug bite free.
However, those plans will have to be put on hold because Mr. Bill (along
with his helper Robby) has already constructed this summer's project.
loves going to pick-your-own produce farms, and I thought that he was
at the perfect age to start a small garden. I had planned on buying a
kit to create a raised garden when Mr. Bill offered to build me one. He
promised that it would be better quality, cheaper and larger than the
"prefabbed crap at Home Depot." It didn't take much convincing for me to
take him up on his offer.
The lumber cost considerably more than
the kit, but the garden is both larger and sturdier. Besides, if I had
bought a kit, Robby wouldn't have been able to "help" Mr. Bill in the
building process. Since he had a hand in the construction, he feels
vested and proprietary about his garden. Besides using the drill, I
think that shoveling the dirt out of Mr. Bill's pick-up truck was the
highlight of the building process.
Robby now has a special farmer
hat that he dons each time he checks on his garden. We planted peas,
green beans, watermelons, tomatoes, potatoes and carrots. We were so
excited when they all started sprouting. The happiness quickly deflated
when we discovered that the garden had been invaded by cut worms, who
had worked all night to behead our young new plants. The plans for an
organic garden were quickly squashed as I drove to the store to find the
strongest chemical deterrent possible.
Our chemically enhanced
garden is growing quickly. I love Robby's enthusiasm as he diligently
waters the plants and sings them songs each night. To my chagrin, Mr.
Bill offered Robby a fun deer deterrent. Now each night before he is
tucked into bed, my little gardener runs out to pee alongside the plot.
Out of all of the work that has gone into the garden, including the
entire building process and the utilization of power tools, I suspect
that marking it each night ranks among Robby's favorites.