Visitors Bearing Gifts

A little backstory: I’m not from Michigan. I was born and raised in upstate NY, in a suburb of Rochester NY. I moved to Michigan to work at the Longway Planetarium in Flint, MI, after living in the NYC area for several years. I’ve been happily in Michigan around 15 years now, and the ONLY thing I regret about leaving NY is that I live 6 hours away from my parents!

They came for a visit. They arrived weary, since they both still work, but bearing gifts, as always! They brought Mike a saw. A very nice saw. I know it has a great name that explains its function, but I’ll just call it a saw. It moved in many, many dimensions, planes, and time zones, and Mike was delighted with it.

...and this knob extrudes macaroni...
…and this knob extrudes macaroni…
...but this one flattens out pizza dough and then takes you to 1985...
…but this one flattens out pizza dough and then takes you to 1985…

Ok, I’m making fun, but now I see the label- it’s a radial saw!

We let Mom and Dad sit down for 5 minutes, then we put them to work. We still had lots of work to do before drywalling could commence. So hi ho, hi ho, up on the scaffolding we go!

"Measure twice, cut once"
“Measure twice, cut once”

The wall at the front of the church wasn’t ready for drywall yet. Nailers (2x4s) had to be positioned so that there was something to nail the drywall into. There is an arch already built into the wall, but there was little to hang drywall on, so that was the day’s project. There was something for everyone to do.

How's the weather up there, Ma?
How’s the weather up there, Ma?
"Hey! Up here! Look up!"
“Hey! Up here! Look up!”

I definitely inherited my work ethic from them. ¬†They haven’t slowed down much in the 46 years I’ve known them. Mom’s 71 and Dad’s 69 (it was his birthday!), and they work harder and better than most 30 year olds! Plus they are fun to have around. Dad has a great attitude and endless curiosity, and Mom and I are always up to hijinks. We both almost wet our pants trying to get a ladder out of the bathroom. It was definitely a Laurel and Hardy moment, but luckily I’m the cameraperson so there is no evidence of it!

"Put that camera down and fetch me a prybar!"
“Put that camera down and fetch me a prybar!”

This was an especially athletic moment for the men. You can’t see the full view, but Dad was hanging out in space like a child on a jungle gym.

"This doesn't feel like recess!"
“This doesn’t feel like recess!”

Honestly? I don’t remember him being in so much peril when I took the picture, but looking back, yikes!!

"I can't quite reach the nail..."
“I can’t quite reach the nail…”

But perseverance paid off, and the arch had its nailers!


I know it’s hard to tell the difference, but Wayne, our drywaller, will be able to tell! He’s set to start work soon, and everything must be prepped and ready.

There was also a door that was to be walled over and had to be framed in.

Good bye door, hello wall...
Good bye door, hello wall…
Let's go get some ice cream!
Let’s go get some ice cream!

It was a busy and short weekend, and I was very sad to see them leave for NY on Monday morning, but before they left there was some time made for ice cream eating and cow-gazing. Dad and Mom grew up on farms in a little town near Hornell, NY, and Dad retains his love for the bovine race, as do I. So he and Mike stopped by our favorite magical cow pasture for some cow-eye candy!

Bovine Bliss
Bovine Bliss

Cow-gazing is relaxing!

Cow Contentment!
Cow Contentment!

We’re very, very lucky to have Mom and Dad! Thank you, God!

– The White Church Gallery