My friends at Life of Dad and Lowe’s reached out to me this Father’s Day to come up with any idea for a project and execute it to inspire the masses. Immediately I thought about making a few bird feeders – one for us and one for each grandfather. Charlie and I took this one head on and launched an adventure to our local Lowe’s store.
I feathered through some images on Google and came up with a basic idea for a bird feeder with a few extra bells and whistles.
As a kid, I always enjoyed my time with dad, working downstairs in our basement – it was our ‘wood shop’. As a brick mason, he’s always seemed to have a grasp for construction in various mediums. He made the harvest table in our dining room, along with the benches and on various occasions, whipped up jelly cabinets and clocks made from 100 year-old oak trees. I always puttered around behind him wearing my tool belt, hoping that some of that knowledge would seep into my skin via osmosis.
After 40 years on this Earth, I’ve come to realize that there are certain things that I’m good at and others that maybe I should just walk away from.
Allow me to thank Lowe’s for this opportunity and quickly apologize, as this DIY will certainly not make their end-of-the-year Powerpoint presentation for the investors.
It all started out wonderfully (subjective) as Charlie and I walked into the store, with him whining and feeling determined to enter every aisle that the employees had cordoned off to operate the forklifts. He insisted on pulling every piece of wood or trim from the rack, showing me how each one was different – which was fun for a little less than three minutes.
After about an hour, we had successfully pulled together all of the materials that we might need to get these feeders done.
I went through the list in my head – bottom, sides, roof, acrylic pieces to hold the feed in, suet cages to tack onto the sides (added flair), Minwax stain and sealer, along with some ‘blanched thyme’ paint for the side pieces. It was all happening.
The blueprints were in my head and as I stood in the driveway wearing my GoPro and sharpening a Hello Kitty pencil with my pocketknife – I was feeling manly, standing at the top of our street, extension cords slithering into the driveway with power tools at my feet.
I made our measurements, attached the blade to my new Dewalt circular saw and that’s when my weather radio went off (I’m a geek like that) and a massive thunderstorm came in over the westen hill. Charlie and I had to hustle to pull all of our materials and equipment into the garage from the driveway in less than thirty seconds.
The power went out and we sat on the front porch with our safety googles on, waiting to get started.
More than anything, I think Charlie was excited to have his own safety gear.
After the storm passed, we set up shop in the driveway and I tried to explain to him exactly what we were doing.
After about eight minutes, Charlie needed to go inside for a ‘rest’, to watch Teen Titans, eat Goldfish and pass out – leaving me to go full Rick Moranis in the driveway, with my wife hoping that no one that we knew drove by.
After several hours and obsessive measuring, I cut a bunch of wood.
After a short break for lunch and picking Ava up from school – I had a crack painting squad at my disposal (this lasted for about 12 minutes before they got too hot and had to go inside).
I’ll give credit where it’s due (and it’s not) and Charlie did his best to hang in there with me.
The sun had almost set by the time I had all the pieces painted and stained and the next morning would be real test.
What I’d come to realize is that my cuts weren’t all perfect. My angles were a little off and I’ll spare you the video of me throwing a tantrum in the driveway and tying the sides together with butcher’s twine from the kitchen (the place I really excel in) while I nailed the roof on.
This feeder is a hot mess, but you know what really matters? The time that I got to spend with my kids doing it. So what if it isn’t the hottest couple at the dance, we did it together – we yelled at each other, chased each other around with dirty paintbrushes, laughed and hugged. We had fun. THAT is all that matters (ALSO, we’re hoping the birds eat out of it).
EDITOR’S NOTE: This was a sponsored post and activity on behalf of my good friends at Life of Dad and Lowe’s in the spirit of #DadTime and Father’s Day. They took care of the materials and are probably cringing somewhere in a conference room after seeing how I put them together – but it’s all love, baby.