Labor Day Traditions

September 05, 2011   //  Posted in: Backyard, Holiday-Related Projects, Other Pads   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

Happy Labor Day, Peeps.

Last year, Pete and I celebrated the long holiday weekend by regrading the backyard as the necessary finishing step for the deck that we built. What we thought would be a simple afternoon project using free soil listed locally on Craigslist turned into a 3-day affair, because those 5-gallon buckets are damn heavy and also don’t hold as much as you’d think.

Three days, new muscles, and 7,000 pounds of clean fill soil tamped into place, the grading (and new grass seed) was looking wonderful. It was physically draining and entirely too laborious for a weekend dedicated to being labor-free, but rewarding.

Freshly tamped 7,000 pounds of soil to fix the grading coming off the new deck. Circa 2010.

The hard work didn’t kill us, after all, so why not bulk up again this last weekend of summer? Seemed like the perfect time to help Pete’s parents clean out their attic and shed storage.

I’m not talkin’ simple reorganize-some-boxes-and-clear-out-a-few-old-appliances.

I’m talkin’ we’ve-lived-here-for-25-years-so-let’s-get-a-dumpster-make-use-of-its-4-ton-capacity reorganization.

It’s the best kind of organization too. The kind where you uncover old memories and treasures in every box and decide what’s worth keeping around and what you realize you haven’t needed since 1980. Not my memories, but it was fun to see Pete and his family uncovering old business files, school projects, and photos.

We even found Pete’s original Christening outfit. Complete with the vest, bonnet, and socks.

Pete. And the baby-Pete church outfit. Including bonnet and socks.

We brought home this pair of vintage glasses that Pete thinks may have been from Del-Taco (photo pre-scrub down)…

Vintage glasses.

And this set of Testors model paints that Pete saved from his days of building little cars, motorcycles, and planes (I think he might have found a new-old hobby from the look in his eyes when he saw them). So little and uniform, someday we’ll figure out a way to display and preserve the glass bottles.

Pretty glossy enamels.

And while that cleanup is wrapped, today we’re hoping to start a few new projects, including finishing the shiplap bedroom wall and making some progress with tearing up part of the driveway (by hand). That driveway overhaul might seem ambitious and muscle-inducing, sure, but lazy considering I had planned to do this earlier on in the summer (around the same time that I removed some of the asphalt and planted the myrtle).

Updates to come (eventually, probably when my asphalt-pulling and dumpster-shot putting muscles heal).

Any cool vintage attic finds lately? And are we the only ones doing physical labor for enjoyment?


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