my favorite contractor

I have this contractor. He works for coffee. He supplies all of his own materials. He is fastidious. He treats his clients to lunch. He babysits. He doesn’t mind if you say you’re going to work with him and then end up lying on the couch. He works in any kind of weather, inside or out. He designs, fits, paints, re-fits, and installs custom storm windows in old homes. He does everything. But, sorry, he only does it for his kids.

This fall Dad made and installed 30 custom storm windows (mostly interior) for our leaky old house. Dad is well acquainted with storm windows having hauled them around his own house every year. When Dad was painting his own windows with his perfectionist eye, I was only 4. He would pay me a nickel to tell him stories while he worked. One day, Mom snapped this picture:
dad-and-me.jpg

Last week, when Dad and I finally put up the last of the windows here, Zoe snapped this picture:
storms dad and me

And today, we had the family over for dinner to thank Dad, and I sang the following song. To the tune of “The Brady Bunch.” Thank you, Dad. My favorite colleague. My favorite contractor.

Here’s a story
about a man named Galen
who was busy with a “vineyard” of his own
his retire-ment meant putzing at his own house
If his youngest kid would just leave him alone.

Leave him alone. Leave him alone. If his youngest kid would just leave him alone.

Here’s story
about his kid named Tasha
who said “Dad, here’s what I think that we should do”
“we should make custom storms for all my windows,
and by “we” I guess I’m really meaning “you”

I’m meaning you, I’m meaning you, and by we I guess I’m really meaning you.

So then Galen, gave it a good thinking
Wondering if outsourcing could fit the bill
After talking to just one window installer
It was clear these shoes were meant for him to fill.

For him to fill, for him to fill. these were shoes that really only he could fill.

Here’s a story
About a ton of windows
Made with care to fit precisely to a “t”
There are 30, yes 30, altogether.
Windows must just be his special-ity

Speciality, Speciality. Windows must just be his special-ity

Here’s a story
how his daughter helped him
Doing the really really real important jobs
Like sharpening pencils and changing out the drill-bits
And pointing out the cuteness of the dog

Cuteness of the dog, cuteness of the dog. She gladly pointed out the cuteness of the dog.

Here’s a thank you
From a grateful daughter
Who still thinks her father must have hung the moon
If he didn’t, well that would be just nonsense
Have you realized there aren’t drafts in any room?

In any room, in any room, have you realized there aren’t drafts in any room?

So thank you, Dad,
For this lovely gift.
We are awed, inspired, and ecstatic
It’s so lovely but we have just one small question
What do you think of working on the attic?

The attic, the attic, shall we move on to the project of the attic?

11 thoughts on “my favorite contractor

  1. I love the photos and the song. I also love to read about the love you have for your dad. He’s pretty amazing, but then you’ve known that for a long time!

  2. I’m telling you…he COULD make this into a business !

    I can attest that they fit so beautifully that not even a speck of dust or grime blows thru. Oh and the trim in the entry way and up the stairs is perfect too.

    The song was a pretty nice touch Tash* (brown noser!)

  3. Tash, your posts frequently make me tear up — and here I am at work. Seriously, I’m going to steal the little detail of the dad paying his daughter to tell him stories while he worked. If I ever get to be a published author, you’ll read that bit somewhere. That is sweet, and tender, and funny — everything I want my books to be.

  4. think your dad would be interested in adopting a new kid? i think he could do a fantastic job with some of out kitchen work. just a thought…

  5. I forgot to mention that about two weeks ago, Paul and I were sans kids and we stopped by your house for a random visit. We saw lights on, but no minivan, so we hesitated, but walked up to your front door. Before we knocked, we peered in the front window and saw your dad and Zoe talking together at the kitchen table. What a guy!
    It was a sweet sweet scene and so we quietly ran back down your steps.
    Your dad is such a blessing and I am so glad you have each other.

  6. haha, your dad used to look like a Beatle. . .

    love the song. it made me laugh out loud, and now it’s stuck in my head!
    “. . .the cuteness of the dog, the cuteness of the dog. . . .”

  7. The beautiful period-perfect storm windows Dad built for our 1922 house look like they were made by an early 20th Century German immigrant craftsman, from Bunde I am sure.

  8. Okay, Brown-Eyed Girl, your blog got me teary eyed big time! Have a question: How much are your stories worth nowadays? :)
    Love you and your dad!

  9. Hahahaha I love the song and the sentiment!

    And I notice even at 4 years old you already have your hands full with a couple ‘projects!’

  10. I’m late to the party on this blog addition but I love the pic of your dad and you – so long ago. You look like you’re telling him something VERY important. :o) sweet.

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