It all started with the small idea that we go to Lowes and buy a simple $90.00 picnic table for Pop-Pop’s cottage at the beach. A table where the kids can eat without getting yelled at for doing so in wet, sandy-butted bathing suits.
My Captain got that familiar look in his beautiful eyes and said in his deep, quiet voice, “We could build one way stronger than anything on the market.”
The next thing we knew, he and Varmint and Critter were doing math computations, and trying to say “3 and 3/16ths” three times fast.
There is something you should know about My Captain: He has more structural engineering background than one OCD man should have… and when he has a structural challenge before him, he takes it seriously.
Perhaps a little too seriously.
This anal-retentive trait served him well when he was the Task Force Leader for Maryland Task Force One during the rescue mission at the Pentagon on 9/11. This served him well when he was working the rubble pile at the OK City Bombing. This came in handy when he was at Hurricane Katrina’s Search and Rescue efforts. But when he takes on a small task like a picnic table….it becomes a little overkill.
He was putting struts and braces on his struts and braces. He was using a heavier wood than would normally be required…and more of it. He had impact drivers and hammer drills out. He used pulleys and mechanical advantage systems. There was rebar littering the deck, and he wasn’t even using concrete.
He was building a picnic table so structurally sound, it could withstand a Class V hurricane….complete with Tsunami….during a tornado.
But we love him and his good intent, and cheered him on the whole time.
After day one, we thought he was finished. Silly, silly us!
Apparently, he had just begun.
On day two, he added cross braces and more diagonal struts.
On day three he added double reinforced cross supports for the umbrella stake.
This table, I kid you not, weighs at least 2 tons.
And after day three, he turned to me and said, “Ok, you take it from here.”
I blinked innocently, and he handed me the Dewalt Sander.
And I’ve been sanding ever since.
You see, all of those cross braces and struts and double reinforced thingy-ma-bobs have hard, splintery edges that are kid unfriendly. My job is to make it kid friendly.
And in the shower, while I’m picking saw dust out of crevices on my body that would prefer NOT to have saw dust, I can’t help but wish a hurricane would come to test the table.
We’re THAT proud of it.
Obviously we need to get out more……