And good riddance I might ad; a thorn in my side has past. Daylight savings is the enemy of the unwilling early riser, stealing away the dawn in those desperate early days of spring and bringing hours of morning darkness in the fall. Usually today is a happy one for me, but today started with dog problems, child issues and even an early morning round of “why the hell is the internet not working?”. At least the daybreak is at the right time again.
Winter lays heavily on the air today in a very Northwest way; heavy wet air and low gray clouds press down on as I walk around in the waning dark checking electrical connections with an ohm meter and the latest indignity of old age to befall me, reading glasses, until the bad connection is restored and the “interwebs” as my Grandmother once called them returns. Walking back the first bones of a fort for the kids rises from the orchard: timber set in concrete at the edge of my very little orchard. For years I have planned this and only recently started realizing the last two childhoods in the family are slipping away and bit of Ghost of Resentment Past for motivation.
My own childhood lacked personal space; my room was the designated guestroom which meant I had beautiful wood floors and furniture but got booted when company arrived. I envied my brothers dowdy carpet and sleek, modern desk that no one else could use. Living with my Grandfather I always wished he would turn his talents to something akin to what I am building now but it never happened. When we returned to New York I fled to the coldest, draftiest least desirable corner of the house for a reason.
Now at fifty I can understand something of my Grandfather’s perspective. He was sixty-three when I turned twelve in 1980 and somehow that is how he stands forever in my mind; a tall lean balding man in jeans and button down shirts rolled-up, forever in motion. By that age he had raised his own five children, helped raise my Grandmother’s sisters, built an apartment and cared for his mother in law for decade after her stroke, and finally took on myself and my brother when my father turned out to be… well who he really always was I guess. How he felt about all this I have no idea; he had that quiet mid-western stoicism of a generation born in poverty, raised in dust and depression. Now at fifty I can guess though that he was tired by sixty-two, and probably had plans that didn’t include a second or third run at parenting. But he never complained but kept quietly at the work of keeping the house together.
Now he is gone and my childhood resentment ways on me. There is no calling to apologize and it probably wouldn’t have worked anyway. So yesterday the frame went up and today the lag bolts will go in to set the frame on the load bearing posts. The structure has expanded to allow longer use, designed to hold the nearly grown children they will soon be; heavier beams and taller doorways. Not to surpass him but to honor his memory of a lifetime of service to his family, because the not complaining part is truly beyond me.
The sun and my daughter have risen. Time to get to it.