The DIY Generation

My mom and dad built their home from the foundation up, literally.  I remember when they broke ground and laid out the lines, poured concrete and put up the walls.  I still love the smell of sawdust.  The scent sends me back to happy childhood memories. 

Both of my parents worked. Dad was a policeman and worked in forensics.  Mom was a nurse at a VA Hospital in Livermore.  After their “day jobs”, they put on “work clothes” and plugged in the table saw, pounded nails, plastered or painted.  I don’t know how Mom managed it, but she had dinner on the table every evening between 6 and 6:30 – and it wasn’t “take-out”.  She made a “four-square meal” (salad, meat, potatoes and a vegetable – and something sweet later). 

They paid as they built, starting with two bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen and small living room.  They planted an orchard of English walnut trees, knowing in the years ahead, the nuts would bring in enough money to pay property taxes.  They maintained a vegetable garden and put in several plum trees to provide fresh fruit as well as to make jams and jellies.  Next, they added a laundry room, another bathroom and master suite. Then they added a big living room and converted the smaller one into a dining room.  By the time I reached high school, they terraced the back hill, built what we now call a “water feature”, put in a swimming pool and built dressing rooms and a cabana. 

If something needed fixing, they figured out how to do it themselves. 

My brother inherited all their DIY instincts and capabilities. 

Rick and I look through the Yellow Pages. 


What talent did you inherit from your parents?

Is there a talent you wish you had inherited?