Special Edition: Happy Birthday Dad!

Confession:  I am terrible about knowing how old someone is.  I always have to do the math.  But for some reason, I can never remember the years my parents were born, so i never know old they are.  Sometimes, people at work will ask me how old they are and they're always incredulous when I say "I think somewhere around...".  Such is the case today.  I always know peoples' birthdays, and today is dad's!  Don't ask, I don't know how old he is.  I know it's 80-something (and if it's younger than that I'm gonna hear about it!).  In honor of this day, 173 submits this Special Edition:  812 - the Home!

This is house where everything started for me.

Kinda your classic, All-American house isn't it?  This is the house of my childhood!  Kinda.  You see, we moved into 812 in 1971, and in 1971 the house looked NOTHING like that!  I don't have many pictures, but let's see what I can put in here to give you an idea...

I know it's a bit faded and fuzzy, but you get the idea.  A few things to note - first, I believe that gentleman is my grandfather, dad's dad!  I haven't seen many pictures of him, and it's great to see him in this one!  The next thing to note, that window on the second floor.  That was my room (shared with my brother later, but still - my room!).  Just to the left of that window was my bed.  You can probably tell that the window reached almost to the floor, so from my bed I could watch the street outside, which came in handy when I was grounded, which was more often than I'd care to admit!  I could also lay on the floor and watch the weather come in from the west, fretting if those clouds meant the baseball game might be cancelled, or watching my friends playing in the street when - you guessed it, I was grounded.  And that brings me to the other point of interest...the porch.  Mind you, I was a kid, but the porch was so narrow, that even then I couldn't sit with my back against the wall and put my legs out straight (at least that's how I remember it).   Remember I said my window faced west?  Well, in the winter whenever someone opened the front door, those winter winds would whip through the house.  So, about 1978 dad decided to do something about it. Dad tore the porch off and built a little foyer on the front!  Check this out:

Looking in the window on the left, it's clear dad got a permit for this project!  As a matter-of-fact, I remember dad waiting for the inspector to come to check the footer depths or something.  

Dad saved enough shingles to put them on the outside so it looked as if the house was built that way!  I don't remember ever seeing written plans for this project, but I do remember dad getting that window from the local hardware store, and it pretty much snapping into place, with barely a shim!

That's how it has always been with dad, he wanted the house to look good, he wanted it to fit his growing family, and he wanted to do it himself.  And that was what inspired me here at 173.  I helped dad quite a bit when I was a kid, and learned things that I remember to this day.  Of course, I was a stupid kid, and didn't know then how much I would come to treasure those days.  I usually grumbled, wishing to go play army or baseball with my friends.  Pouting when I had to hold things for him because he only had two hands.  But that's okay, it's all part of the lore, part of the memories I think about when I'm doing things at 173 that just aren't that much fun.  I think about dad working at the factory all day, coaching my ball teams (to multiple championships by the way), and still finding time to do all these projects!

That's dad all the way to the right!  

The funny thing is, like I said, dad's in his 80s and he isn't done!  Just a couple years ago he remodeled the kitchen!  Leveled the floor, put in all new cabinets, plumbing, I mean a total remodel!  And he loves his yard!  My siblings and I got him a new cart for yardwork for Chrsitmas last year (maybe the year before, told ya - I'm terrible at timeframes!) - 

Oh, and that's inside his garage, that he added onto his workshop...all of which he built!  There are so many projects, that I've decided to add a page to this blog called 812 - The Home!  I'll get as many pictures from mom and dad as I can, and post special editions of 173 honoring 812, and chronicling as many projects as we can cobble together!  It'll be fun, and you can find the link at the top of the 173 home page!

So, happy birthday dad!  However old you are!
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