One month ago our family moved from our home in Locust Grove to our new home in Stockbridge, Ga. Our new home is located three houses down from the first house that we purchased eight years ago when we first moved to Georgia. It’s strange the many twists and turns that God has led us on. Never in a million years would I have imagined us moving back to our old neighborhood. Our home in Locust Grove became too expensive for us to keep so we leased it out to a nice family and are praying that are enjoying their stay there.
Our friends Mark and Jenn have a rental home that became available just as we found tenants for our home. The first time that we came to visit their home our son Noah became enamoured with the creek in the back yard. The kids had a great time playing in the creek and the woods, unfortunately Noah came home with four ticks on him that night but they still had a blast. A big thanks to my Uncle Bob who has his own pest company, he told me what insecticides to apply to our yard to rid us of the ticks and other pests. I ordered the chemicals online and applied them per his instructions and whammo ticks are now gone. What a relief!
Anyway soon after our first visit our son Noah began talking to me about his desire to build a bridge over the creek in the backyard. Not just any bridge however but a “drawbridge”. Of course I said yes without truly thinking about the difficulty level in constructing such a bridge, especially with my limited experience in construction, save the white picket fence at our first home in Rhode Island. The fence that I finished painting on the day that Noah was born…it was quite a fence!
So I agreed to help construct the said drawbridge without any hesitation, we would just have to figure it out. For three weeks we talked about the bridge, we drew plans, we sketched, we measured. Noah kept asking me when we were going to build the bridge, I was working 7 days a week in addition to going to his Cub Scout day camp with him and was dead tired. The week of Cub Scout camp I decided that we would start construction of our bridge on that Sunday which was Father’s Day. So we made a list of materials and headed off to Home Depot to buy all of the necessary hardware and wood. The project was substantially more expensive than I had imagined, but as the famous Visa commercial says, the experience, and the result were “priceless”.
It took us one whole day and three half days to complete construction. Noah measured every plank twice for cutting per my instructions. The old adage saved us a few pieces of wood, “measure twice and cut once”. Noah also used the miter saw for the first time, under my very strict supervision of course. When constructing the frame for the drawbridge Noah screwed in every plank except for a couple all by himself. He helped me brace all of the pieces of wood together, threaded the bolt for our pulley system and hooked the cable hook onto the eye-hook of our drawbridge. The construction of our drawbridge truly was a team effort. Day one saw much more progress than I would have imagined. The basic components were done but I still wasn’t sure if our drawbridge concept was going to work or not.
I was amazed as I know that Noah was as well that we actually figured out how to made it work. We constructed the bridge from some very rudimentary drawings. The last day we constructed the stairs that go down to our dam and waterfall. The waterfall and dam were constructed by Noah and our neighbor Alex who came over to help one day, he screwed some screws in the with the drill, and was a big help with the many tasks that I asked him to assist us with. Lastly I applied a couple of solar-powered post caps to our drawbridge that actually work surprisingly well. I plan on purchasing some fish at Walmart to stock our stream after doing some more research. We managed to increase the water level of the stream but at the same time not decreasing the water flow. I can’t wait to see some fish in there.
Next on my list of projects is the construction of a wooden tree swing. Today I did some research on-line, I can’t wait to construct the swing which will swing out over the creek from a 12 foot high branch. I’ve always dreamed of having a swing like that and I know that the kids are going to love it.
On a side note if you are going to construct a drawbridge separating property lines it’s always best to check with your neighbors which I did not. Thankfully our neighbors Steve and Missy kindly let our drawbridge remain in place provided the boys behave themselves on their property, keep your fingers crossed.
All in all it was one of the best days and weeks ever, certainly the best Father’s Day I have ever spent.
The Annie Clarke Memorial Drawbridge will officially open at our 4th of July BBQ when we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony to commission it for use. Annie was our 11-year-old Boston Terrier that was hit and killed by a car three weeks ago. The naming of the bridge in her honor was our son Noah’s idea, an absolutely wonderful tribute to a wonderfully loyal and loving dog. All are invited to attend our BBQ and drawbridge commissioning, if you would like to come please RSVP. The BBQ will begin at 4pm, with many fun events planned and with fireworks to follow at Community Christian Church.