Archive for December, 2012

Uncle Santa’s Project

Raw Materials Arrive

  Raw Materials Arrive

Our youngest son, Andrew, came to visit us from Guam for the holiday season. While showing him our backyard, I asked if he would have time to build some swings for his younger nieces and nephews while he was here. It could be his Christmas present, I said–we would pay for the materials if he would design and build it. As a carpenter, Andrew loves designing things and before I knew it, the idea of a simple swing set had morphed into a more complex design. Soon lumber descended from a truck to our driveway and with the addition of some tools borrowed from friends, he began the project. He planned to build something special for those kids he rarely sees but always holds in his heart.

Bigger than I Expected!

Bigger than I Expected!

Within a day or two, cement footings had been prepared and the uprights were in process. It occurred to me that the project was taking on a grander scale than I expected–and also that it was remarkably visible from my living room window. I hadn’t imagined a firepole or a climbing wall, either, but they’re very cool. My husband got into the project, too, since Andrew doesn’t like to paint but he does. Andrew battled some difficulties with the altitude–he lives at sea level and we live at 5,000+ feet–so workdays were sometimes rather short, but the project kept growing, just the same. My sole contribution seemed to be worrying aloud that there weren’t enough safety rails!

Color is Added

Color is Added

We’d hoped to install some sort of fence between the lawn portion of our backyard and the garden/orchard portion, but this project neatly eliminated the necessity for that barrier–the playground establishes the division pretty well.Uncle Santa Adds Swings

Tomorrow night some of the recipients of this amazing gift from “Uncle Santa” will arrive from Colorado. Even the most enthusiastic gift-wrapper would quail at the size of this project, but we do plan to wrap a bit of tinself and a gift tag around a few of the rails for the children. The playground made a lot of work for Andrew–and after all, he’s here on vacation. But it should form a tangible reminder that the children have an uncle who may live on the other side of the globe, but who still loves them very much. It’ll be a Christmas they’ll remember–hopefully not because they fell off and broke an arm or leg (concluding note from Nervous Grandma). Hope your Christmas is safe and memorable, too!

Finished in time for Christmas!

Finished in time for Christmas!

If You’re Hopi and You Know it…

entrance to the festival

entrance to the festival

Lots of Christmas excitement in Holbrook lately. We had the Festival of Trees, in which each organization in town put up a Christmas Tree with the theme of “Arizona History.” If you lived in our state, you’d be very aware that 2012 is our 100th anniversary of statehood. Arizona came into the Union on Feb. 14 of 1912, so the theme makes sense. I particularly liked the “tree” below, which is a large tumbleweed, all decorated with lights. That’s certainly true Arizona! The next night was our big parade, during which we all go downtown and freeze our fingers and toes in the high desert December evening while watching and applauding the lighted floats. We had a great time there, and my favorite float was one from a reservation school nearby. The float itself was just built on the back of a pick-up truck, but the fun came with a gaggle of little children with angel halos and white t-shirts, walking behind the pick-up with their chaperones, singing “If you’re Hopi and you know it, clap your hands!” This from the same folks who brought us the famous motto of a few years back, “Don’t worry, be Hopi!” Yes, you may groan, but small town life out West has humor, if not too much else, going for it! I’m glad to be here.Tumbleweed Tree

 
Tumbleweed Tree