A Playful Man Who Can Make Stuff

8 Sep

I love a playful man. Any man who will play with me goes straight to the top of my list. And I do have a list. Any man who can fix things has to fight for top position, and if I find a man who is both, I just may burn my list!

There have been two men in my life that fit this description; my Grandfather and my step-father, Elmer.

My Grandfather loved to do those long, complicated rhyming songs that were more of a lilting cadence and were absolutely hilarious. They were also pretty tongue twisting and he’d say them so fast, you’d never remember a word later. And he could make the most amazing things; I still have the cedar chest he made for me as a child. I keep my Barbie and the clothes my Grandmother made for her safely stashed in it (I know, dangling participle, get over it – it’s in the common vernacular).

As a kid, I thought Elmer knew every joke in the world (heck, I still think it!), and he was the best joke teller I ever met. He was the town’s propane tank repairman and his hands were small but thick and slightly rough. But, oh, what those hands could build. He transformed the basement of our house, which originally had been a smaller house so there were two levels of basement, one larger than the other, into a bedroom for me with the higher level being made into platform beds and seating areas. It was too cool and so large it was like a studio apartment.

One of the responsibilities of the men in our family at that time was the finding, preparation, and transportation of all snow riding equipment in the winter time. And the ride of choice was these HUGE inner tubes that must have come from tractors and semis, because you couldn’t wrap your arms around them even when only partially inflated.

Now, you have to understand that, as with most things male, sliding down a snow-covered mountain on an inner tube demands a full scale plan attack rivaling attempts to scale Mount Everest. First they’d cut steps in the snow up the side of the open expanse they intended to “run” down. Nice, even steps, because we were going to be climbing those stairs A LOT. Then all the tubes were unloaded from the backs of all the trucks that carted them up the mountain (all inflated at the local garage) and, after much debate, sorted into “trains” and singles. The trains got lashed together and then the men carted all the tubes to the top of the run as everyone else scrambled up after them. The men would make the first couple of runs to compact the snow and then the bouncing, high flying, cart wheeling fun began! Thankfully, our guys parked all their trucks nose to tail along the side of the road at the bottom of the run to block us from careening across the road (and through the mountain traffic) and only one kid ever lost one of his front teeth, but we knocked heads and butts against plenty of door and wheel panels to make some nice dents in the process.

See, women would just not go to all this trouble. But we sure were glad our men did and we did bring the hot chocolate!

A playful man who can make stuff; yep, I been looking for a third one.

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