My folks are the hardest working people know. I'm the oldest of nine kids, and although we weren't rich, we never wanted for much. Mom raised the kids and even home-schooled a few of us until high school(I'm the only college dropout, and the youngest is heading to CCS in a few weeks). Dad worked as a sheet metal operator at Steelcase 40-60 hours a week. And outside of "work" he wasn't softball guy or bar guy or couch guy; he was(is) work-with-his-hands guy.
At some point in the early 80s they got a great deal on a plot of land near the outskirts of our small hometown. I remember the older lady that sold them the parcel, she lived across the street from where our house was at the time. And I remember her son, a lawyer and locally connected individual, was not all that pleased at the sweetheart deal she gave mom and dad. But my parents are likeable people and I can't help but think she admired how they lived their life. So we got 7 acres on her side of the road, about 1/4 mile up.
I should actually sit down with my parents to do a proper interview...get details and timelines straight...but they're still the hardest working people I know. Dad retired(at 49) but now buys houses, fixes them up, rents them out and maintains them. Mom went back to school in her late 40s, became a RN, and works full time hours at a hospital in Grand Rapids.
So we'll just go with....pictures:
(and if you go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/browndo... there are many more, along with actual descriptions of what's going on with each one)
These were taken at the old house
This is one of dad's draw knifes, it's hanging in my shop now.
New property(+ an old jeep we use to have):
The main beam being installed. Before this step, in order to flatten one side, dad drug the log up and down Irving Road, using it like sandpaper(Paul Bunyan ish).
They sold the house my first year of college(moved a few miles away into another house they designed/built). The log house now has a wrap around porch and the drive is paved. I'd really like to get this place back in the family one day.