The longer I live in my home, nicknamed the Estes Manor (you would see the humor when 30 family members are crammed into the 1970s-style split-level for holidays), the longer the project do-to list gets. Although I consider myself fairly handy at small, uncomplicated improvement projects, I wish I could still rely on my dad for guidance.
He was a master DIYer before “HGTV,” “Fixer Upper” and even “This Old House.” Someone who never backed down from a home project challenge, he fought through the complications of Type 1 diabetes to complete impressive work in all categories of honey do’s. He knocked down walls and replaced them with sliding glass doors. He built a massive entertainment center that still houses collectible albums from the 60s and 70s. He constructed a storage shed built to withstand a nuclear war, and erected a deck large enough to entertain the 30 people who cram into my home, with room to spare.
The deck was his magnum opus. He built the first level, a standard 10-by-10 section in 1978. Not satisfied, 10 years later he added an additional tier, with a flower box, and then another section with benches and a pergola. Family joked at the expanding size of the deck/helipad, and teasingly held a Labor Day Deck Extension Benefit. In exchange for a box of deck screws and two-by-fours, attendees enjoyed a barbecued dinner and cold beer.
The deck still solidly stands today, with the exception of the flower box, which slumps southward but will be shored up this summer. My mom ensures the deck remains in perpetuity.
I share this story with you in honor of Father’s Day and all the dads who have made treasured memories for their children to cherish.