The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Well, I back from my week with the boys, and almost through playing catch up. We had a great time--probably one of the best trips yet. I'll post more on that later next week, but thought I share this little story of how out of shape I am both physically and mentally.

Growing up in the country, with no video games or cable TV, while be corn-fed right from our own garden, I tended to be in good condition. Plenty of outdoor chores, a job at a feed mill, and lots of high school sports only aided to my physical fitness. Now closing in on forty, I'm starting to get the sense I've let myself go, which really is my own fault sitting behind a computer all day, feasting on whatever is easiest processed faux-food to shove down my throat.

You don't think much of your health until your kids say something to the effect of wanting to build a treehouse together, and being the good father, you jump into the project with both feet only to be out of breath when you land. That was me anyway.

After drawing up some rudimentary plans, I showed my father and he suggested that easiest thing to do would be to chainsaw down long strait trees about 6 inches in diameter "to make it as sturdy as possible." And he would know about sturdy having constructed for my sisters and I several monstrosities that in the event of a nuclear detonation would've survived the blast joining the cockroaches as the only evidence of previous life on the planet. He's The Master. How hard could it be given such advice?

Well for one I couldn't get the chainsaw to work right, and envisioning me using two bandaged nubs to drive the Chevy Traverse back to Texas, I figured I'd wait until Dad got home from work to set me straight. When he did arrive, there seemed to be a strange glee in his face.

"Come on son, I'll give you hand." Minutes later he had buzzed down half a dozen trees for use as support beams.

This is when I realized how out of shape I had become. It was a huge struggle for me to drag the logs to the proposed tree house's location. In my younger days I wouldn't have even broken a sweat. We heated our home with a wood furnace during the winter so cutting, hauling, splitting, and stacking wood was one of those regular events your body adapted to. Now it was all I could do to move a few small logs a mere several yards.

Seeing my labors, Dad got an amused look on his face. At over 60, the man is still something of a machine running circles around the other younger guys at work. "Hey, Son, let me get the four-wheeler and you can skid them out."

Why didn't we have one of those when I was a kid? Life would've been a lot easier for me then. Pretty soon I was pulling more 8 to 10-foot logs all over the place while Dad kept cutting what seemed like an inordinate amount of timber that continued to grow in diameter from the originally suggested diameter. Odd.

Next I found myself dragging the resulting tree tops left over and placing them into piles. "Better to do it now rather than later. That way you can enjoy the tree house without a lot of clean up," Dad reasoned.

Makes sense to me. But somewhere in the process of doing this, I noticed that Dad was no longer anywhere in the vicinity (turns out he was helping unload his new John Deere tractor that had just arrived--more toys since my leaving home). And after counting up the timber for the project I realized there was more than I would ever need.

Hmmm. "I think we've been had," I said to my son Noah who had since joined me in my endeavors.

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"I think Grandpa pulled a fast one us." The night before Dad had watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox with the boys, and he seemed rather enamored with it. "I think Grandpa just got us to do a little wood cutting for winter." I shook my head. "Grandpa's The Fantastic Mr. Fox."

Noah tilted his head still wearing a confused expression. "Huh?"

Then I thought about it for a moment. "Never mind, Son." I decided to forgo further explination. The Fantastic Mr. Fox is a favorite movie of mine too.


Beyond sinking the support posts, the tree house did not get finished. Weather and timing threw off the schedule, but the boys didn't seem to mind. We'll be back at it this summer. When I mentioned to Dad that I figured out his game, his only response was a wide grin. Finally, the realization of my poor physical condition has prompted me to work out again, but at least I slept very well that night.

This post brought to you by the great community at DadBlogs and their Fatherhood Friday series. Check it out.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Ads Section

Ads Section

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP