Wednesday, August 3, 2005

The Project

It’s been an interesting couple of days. Some of you know that I have Mondays and Tuesdays off. I also keep watch over my Grandson for part of the day on those days.

Well, it all started when I came up with the need to ship an oversized item to a friend of mine. The item I want to ship is an odd size, approximately 1" x 6" x 6’8." That’s right, it’s almost the same dimensions as a piece of lumber. Oh, and it’s fragile!

My first thought was to just drop it off at the UPS Store near me and let them pack it and ship it for me. Not going to happen!

I got up early Monday, well, I get up early every day, so let’s just say I got out of the house early Monday and went to Home Depot to get some ideas on how to package this thing. I thought a couple of one by eight pieces of lumber with a couple of one by ones sandwiched between them would do the trick. Wrong! The price of lumber these days is almost as much as gold was a few years back. To do it that way it would weigh a ton and cost over thirty dollars just to pack.

I came home and got a call off to the UPS store, told them the dimensions and asked for a price quote. Just for the cardboard boxes alone it would be sixty dollars and that’s before labor was factored in! Nope! Back to the drawing board. The rest of Monday was spent with Trenton.

Oh, yeah, tell me, how can a six-year-old boy enjoy watching the same movie for the one-hundredth time? Yikes!

Okay, Tuesday dawns and I’m out early again, back to Home Depot. I am trying to think light this time.

I remember using door skins to build something years ago that had to be light. Yes, I find door skins! Only six dollars for a four-foot by seven foot sheet. I got them to do two cuts on it for free and it was off to find the one by one pieces of lumber. Hmmm, they didn’t have one by ones, so I settled on one by twos. I needed two of them, and they cost less than two dollars each. Now off to look for a box of screws. I chose zinc instead of stainless to keep the price down. The package will probably get discarded after unpacking, so who cares if the screws rust six months from now, right? Oh, total cost is less than fourteen dollars. Yeah!

Now it’s off to Wal-Mart’s, which is close, to buy some new DVD’s for Trenton and to save my sanity, LOL!

I get home and get everything laid out and Trenton arrives on cue. He is excited that Grandpa has a project for US  to do. He sees the 18volt battery operated drill and his eyes go wide with excitement. He picks it up and squeezes the trigger and I know he is imagining it shooting out a laser beam and taking out the house next door.

As I start to drill the guide holes for the screws Trenton asks, "When can I drill one, Grandpa?" Hmmm. This twenty-minute task is now going to take the better part of an hour, but I give in and hold the drill each time while he pulls the trigger. Then we line up the pieces to screw together and he is a big help here. He gets so excited as the packing crate takes form. I guide the drill as we screw what seems like a thousand screws into the wood. It’s looking pretty good at this point.

It’s time to fit the last piece on and seal the packing crate up. I go get the item to be shipped and it fit in there perfectly. It’s just a hair tight, though, so when it’s unpacked, it’s not going to come out by opening one end and sliding out. No, the receiving party is going to have to unscrew one side and lift it out. Sorry, but it’s a gift, right? So I hope they still appreciate it while they are unscrewing that fiftieth screw to get the crate open, LOL!

Paulette arrives home, as we are finishing up. Trenton stays with me and we are done. Trenton’s Dad pulls up and He and Trenton go inside to see Paulette before Trenton is bundled off to home.

Later, Paulette tells me all the little guy could talk about is how he built the packing crate. His Dad is going to have to hear about the project all night long. I love it!

Today I’ll try and get away on a break and take this to the UPS Store and get it shipped. It felt good doing something nice for a friend and getting the little guy involved. I had a good two days off!

50 comments:

lurkynat said...

Dear Sam,
Gee! You are the greatest grandfather ever! hugs and thanks for the inspiration!
nat

olddog299 said...

You have the patience of Job.

But riddle me this... why didn't you pick up an eightfoot length of Sonotube, some plywood scraps from the cut-off pile for the ends and a bag of plastic peanuts to fill the thing with? A little jigsaw work, four screws at each end and voila!

Not being critical. Just asking ... and think of the fun they'd have dumping out all those peanuts on the livingroom rug!

sierrajazz said...

what a delightful day you must have had with your grandson.. just seeing the excitement in his little face as he helped you is worth all the extra time it took.  Times like those are very special and will make great memories forever.  All ready for another movie marathon with the new DVD"s?? Enjoy your time with him, he sounds precious!!

mechants said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day. And what a great grandson for helping you! I hope your friend enjoys their gift.

Ari

jcole16757 said...

Children enjoy that special time with their grandparents.  I happy to hear you are so close to your grandson.  You can't not tell us what this special gift is after you've shared your shipping/packaging woes! ;)  

rap4143 said...

I enjoy Grandparenting, we have more time LOL.
Betty

madcobug said...

It's great that you took the patience with your Grandson. Children don't forget about doing things with Grandparents. Helen

judithheartsong said...

oh, I am sitting here doing everything but clapping....... you taking us along on this project was hilarious and very sweet. Lucky grandson and what a memory you have given him. So much effort put into this, the recipient should consider themselves very lucky and loved.
I ship a lot of stuff and it is always a challenge to make things safe and yet keep the pricing within the stratosphere...... there is a very nice man named Jim, who is the receiving clerk at Michael's, who saves big boxes for me.
I loved this story Sam:):)
oh my..... whatcha gonna do next week with Trenton to top this project? I think you two should build a boat.
judi

robinngabster said...

You sound just like the kind of Grandpa my Dad is to my daughter! She adores him. BTW....I love it when men talk all home depot like! I have no idea what they are saying but it sounds sexy!  :)

louie0768 said...

My son is six years old as well and I had to laugh when you compared the drill to a laser gun. Something my son has done with my hubby's drill. Although I don't know who gets more enjoyment out of that drill, my son or Pat. I get the a lesson in building if I am caught using a nail in this house, but in a good way.

Children are such wonderful beings, they are so innocent and simple although at times their complexities baffle me. I think that makes sense. I simply love to observe them and to see their expressions when they discover something or that they solved something.

I used to help my dad 'fix' cars, (ahem) and I learned pretty much all about tools by the time I was 8. Your grandson will treasure these memories with you. I know that mine with my dad bring a warmth to my heart.

anmyatt said...

It's awesome that you are involved with your grandson on that level!  He will always admire you and never forget the time you made just for him!  =)

I'm not sure what is up with those repetative viewing marathons.  My stepdaughter has a very special talent for finding "Full House" anytime of day, anyday of the week.  It's almost like Bob Saget is always there to brain-wash her into a group hug or something.  Scary Stuff!   ~Nikki

memes121 said...

After unscrewing all those screws, your friend might want to use that "laser beam" on you, LOL! Glad to hear you had a good days off!

jen73169 said...

Those are the things kids remember forever.
Jennifer

rollinghillsides said...

A great story Sam, i enjoyed reading all about your successful packaging project, and isn't it fine that you had all that "help".   Kids are just great to be around, aren't they?   Five grandchildren of our own here, ranging in age from 6 to 20, precious.   Have a pleasant rest of the week ....

bvaneps834 said...

Sam, you and my husband both seem to really love baby sitting the grandkids! We get our youngest at least one day a week. I send grandpa and Zack out for lunch so i can get a littlle done!!

jtuwliens said...

Ohhh, what fun!  You've just given a two-fer gift!  1) The gift you're mailing, and 2) Letting Trenton help Grandpa.  I suspect the experience for Trenton for more than entertainment, I'm sure he learned a lot of other things!  Lots of lessons in this entry, Sam.  I loved ever word of it!
Best,
Judith
http://journals.aol.com/jtuwliens/MirrorMirrorontheWall

ryanagi said...

Adding kids into the mix can make a simple task take 10 times as long...but the excitement on the kid's face because he got to "help" is worth it. :-)

labdancer51 said...

I think children become word-perfect with watching their videos over and over.  I remember years ago, my kids watching a video for the hundreth time and the pair of them were speaking the actors lines for them!  :-)

Sandra x

karensull12 said...

Kids love projects so I'm sure your grandson had a wonderful time with you.  Oftentimes, parents are so rushed that they push their kids aside and don't let them get involved as much as they should so grandparents come in handy because they seem to have boundless patience!

scotthlori said...

I agree about the price of lumber...it's insane!  (We built our house ourselves 5 years ago and are in the process of building our garage.)  

Lori
http://journals.aol.com/scotthlori/DiscoveringMe

ccancu said...

I think my granddaughter, Emily, has seen Shrek, the first one, 50 or more times, many of those occurred while I was THERE.  Just shoot me!

What a great grandpa you are!

http://journals.aol.com/ccancu/CEEGEEATLARGE

childebrand1968 said...

What I think is amazing about children is how they believe adult work is fun.  Too bad we lose that sense of adventure when we 'grow up'.  A real shame.

But, at least when children are involved it does not seem like work anymore.  Or is that just me?

And what?  No pictures of the masterpiece?  Guess I can use my imagination....

Glad you had a nice time in the end, though.  After all that running around just for materials, I'd be worn out :)

I have to laugh at Trenton's Dad hearing the story all night.  Gracie has been in a 'tell me the story about that' phase....  Our younger cat got outside tonight and we had to tell her that story four times before she went to bed, 45 minutes later  ;)

I love kids.....

Cat

ksquester said...

You and my husband have lots of patience. I had 3 of my grandchildren today and let me tell you that 3 of them in different age groups present lots of challenges for ME! We had lunch, did Target and haircuts. (No assembley required!)  Glad you had a good time. But I would hold off a few years before you introduce him to a nail gun OR glue gun.    Anne

southernmush said...

Hello again. It sounds like you had quite a day. I have two nieces ages 5 and 14 I know how kids are and teenagers. It sounds like you did a few things and got things done. Now it should be time to get back to the water I imagine......Its good to be reading another one of your entries of your journal.

stupidsheetguy said...

LOL, I know we're close to the same age, but suddenly I was back to being a grandson there for a little while. I will tell you based on my own experience, that your grandson WILL remember this forever. I remember everything I did with my grandfather, and he was a lot like you were. Hope I remember that when it's MY turn.


Thanks, Sam!

Jimmy

chatzeekay said...

o tay your bob the bulider thats great I would have never had patience to do all that  lol good job

indigosunmoon said...

It appears you had a busy day too!!!
So glad you got to spend time with
your grandson...
Lovish!
Connie

fitzzer said...

What a great day. Reminds me of all the times I spent with my grandparents. Some of my fondest memories. This is another your grandson will look back on with the same. You sure are mysterious over there - whatever could be in that box? Nosey, aren't I? :)   ~Lori

candace636 said...

So, didya send the recieving party a drill too? <g>
Your grandson is a lucky little boy and he will treasure the memories nearly as much as you. : )
Candace

bosoxblue6993w said...

WITH my LEVEL OF PATIENCE ... I WOULD'VE SLAPPED 75 STAMPS ON THE THING ... AND DROPPED IT ON A MAILBOX

blondepennierae said...

Sam, I'm sorry that it has been a bit since I have been here, but it is not for lack of love of your stories.  My grandson watched the tape of a 1992 Kings Hockey game at least twice a day 7 days a week.  By the time he had outgrown that tape I could recite the whole game to anyone patient enough to listen.   Aren't grandsons fun ... even if they do cause granparents to have nervous breakdowns from words heard and reheard and reheard.  Loved this story.  Pennie

onestrangecat said...

Sounds like grandpa and grandson had a great time.

Kathy

pixiedustnme said...

awww, what a wonderful grandpa you are!

nyuknyukpik2 said...

kids are great for improving project time--but the pride they have for "their" projects makes it all worth it.

ondinemonet said...

Oh Sam

I love your journal...I really do. This was just the story I needed, to bring me some warm feelings and a smile to my face. You and Trenton sound like a winning team. Oh how I enjoy stories like this. Your journal is my respite at times. :) Thank you for sharing your stories and life with us.

Just, Carly :)

ltcjan said...

My Granddaughter has watched "Finding Nemo" and "Monsters, Inc" so often that I know all the dialog.  Perhaps the little guys appreciate the predictability of knowing what comes next since they seem to be able to exert so little control in to days world!!  You are a good Grandpa!

mcjerseygiri said...

I am trying to think what you could be sending and being that tall the only thing that comes to mind is a totem pole! I am intrigued! Nelle

piperacharmed1 said...

you gave your grandson the best gift of all....great memories for the future!!
Tracie

csandhollow said...

Ok time for name that gift! You are a good grandpa!

judithheartsong said...

you, my friend, are da bomb!!!!!!! judi

shewolfdancing said...

This is a great story... thank you Judi for linking it in your journal so i could come and read it!
 *aww...

~K

sdoscher458 said...

Great story....you made some nice memories for your grandson...Sandi http://journals.aol.com/sdoscher458/LifeIsFullOfSurprises

gdireneoe said...

Hi again!  I am so glad Judi liked you as I forgot to add you to my alerts and could not remember how to find you!  What a good grandpa/friend you are.  C.  http://journals.aol.com/gdireneoe/thedailies

mechants said...

I just read Judithheartsong's entry. The minute she described the package, I thought to myself, "Hey, I've read that somewhere before..."

That's so sweet of you!

Ari

onemoretina said...

  Isn't this so wonderful ...you made two people happy, one on the sending end, and one on the receiving end .... And yourself as well !  You are a gem, Sam, and knowing you as I do, I am sure you got as big a kick out of this as your grandson and Judi did.  Lovely !!   Tina

cneinhorn said...

I'm just here from Judi's entry!  

~  www.jerseygirljournal.com

rocketman685434 said...

It’s been an interesting couple of days. Some of you know that I have Mondays and Tuesdays off.

Lucky you mate.


Today I’ll try and get away on a break and take this to the UPS Store and get it shipped.

Good luck.Hope it arrives with your freind safely

mutualaide said...

Oh Sam..you are such a thoughtful guy...and uhm, ah, my middle-aged brain just cramped up.  I cannot think of the other word, but you are it!  

quicksoap said...

This story is priceless. Large, patient hands guiding small, eager hands. The continuity of family. You brought back many precious memories of my Grandfather, who was a master carpenter. He had a short temper, but seemingly infinite patience with us grandkids. Thank you for posting this!

-Don

coy1234787 said...

    I was in a hurry the day I opened this entry ... did not have time to read it. I clicked save as new and now I remember why. This is a great story ... as all of your stories seem to be. I'm glad that I waited to read it when had plenty of time to enjoy your moment.
                               *** Coy ***