The Grandpa John

So.. some of you may know me and know that my dad was pretty keen on a few things in life. One of those things was fishing and all things water and another was gardening. He took great pride in growing his own tomatoes especially.

When my dad got sick I spent a lot of time with him – helping him do the things he could no longer do for himself… one day I decided I needed to do something for me, that would keep me close at hand… and as an added bonus might provide some kind of entertainment for my dad. By this stage he was confined to a wheel chair.

So as you do I went to Google … I have always been pretty handy with a needle and thread… a hot glue gun, a set of knitting needles… in fact I hadn’t found a crafty type thing that I couldn’t do – I didn’t say well… but I was always (and still am ) willing to give it a go.
But my mind kept coming back to trying to find something I would like AND give a little something to dad as well.
Hmmmm gardening or water… We already had a pretty good veggie patch and more tomatoes that one family could ever use (leading to the pickles but that is another story!) So I decided to ask Google to inspire me…. and I was not to be disappointed. I made the decision – based on hardly any ‘actual’ knowledge… to build a boat.
Now I could go on and tell you all about the trials and tribulations encountered in building the boat… (with the help of the wonderful Adam).. the many times my dad laughed at me.. (he was pretty old school so the thought of a girl building a boat from scratch was pretty funny) but there isn’t time for that here. I knew from the time she spent watching, admiring and reading instructions tome that he was pretty darn proud that I was even giving it a go.
Before I finished my boat.. my dad died. No matter how prepared you think you are for the loss of a parent.. you never really are.
I never finished the boat. It seemed pointless. I was doing it to show him things about me he would never of otherwise know… I was a whole and at times interesting person.. not just a home-maker.
I have carted the half built boat around the country with me… always wondering what I would do with it. Would I one day finish it and row about the bay where where we spread his ashes… would he shove a nice big fish on my line while I did that… As it turns out.. that Old boat has spent so much time in the weather.. I decided she would take too much work to get her sea worthy…
Over the past few weeks my dad has been on my mind. All the things about losing a parent resurfaced when earlier this year my step day of about 20 years passed away as well. It prompted me to action.
Each day for the past few weeks I have gathered poo and dirt, clippings and compost and have been layering them into the boat. Today I covered the top with a nice rich layer of compost laden earth and a top load of mulch and planted our spring garden.. (Yes I remembered to drill holes for drainage in the bottom – I think that was the hardest bit – drilling a hole into something you had made to be water tight was a little odd!)
As I secured the net around the boat (to keep our lovely chookies out) I was filled with a sense of completion. I feel like my dad would have been happy with the outcome… a beautiful boat shaped garden
Now all I need is some paint to name the boat once and for all – The Grandpa John. xx

















4 responses to “The Grandpa John”

  1. Sue Preece says :

    Great idea, you’ll have to have an official launch then with champagne!

  2. A Guyra Girl says :

    Gorgeous way to use the boat and I’m certain your Dad would be proud of you – combining his two great loves!

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