Let me start this post with the disclaimer that I am not a carpenter. I cannot draw a straight line even with a ruler. However, somehow, I ended up helping my Mom make a new well cover for my grandparents yesterday evening after supper and this was a pretty unusual mother-daughter project!
When I was a child, I tried to steer clear of my grandparents’s well, especially when the well cover was off. It seemed like a damp, dark, and mysterious place that I had no desire to explore. I was much more comfortable exploring such places when reading my Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden mysteries. Thankfully, a wooden cover fit snugly down and over the well. This cover looked like just a piece of plywood cut to fit the hole, but it had these four pieces of wood that were nailed underneath and prevented the cover from sliding off and exposing the hole.
The cover on the well had deteriorated over time and the wood had warped. My grandmother had asked my cousin to fix it, but he never did. So, my Mom decided that we were going to make a new cover for the well. She found some lumber, nails, and a saw and we set everything up under the tree in my grandparents’ backyard. Since we didn’t have any sawhorses, we decided to use the picnic table. The old well top provided a template and soon we were sawing and hammering. I realized that I had picked a bad day to wear black pants because I was quickly covered in sawdust.
As we cut and hammered, we laughed at some of the crooked cuts that I made with the saw. We also giggled when I nailed the new well top to one of the little blocks of wood that acted as a buffer between the picnic table and the main piece of plywood. Sometimes, it was hard to stay focused on the task because we were laughing too hard.
As I worked with Mom, I thought about how moments like this are precious and need to be stored in our memories (and on videotape-we would have been a shoe-in for America’s Funniest Home Videos!). I loved having the time to hang out with Mom and I cherish the shared laughter and experience. Too often, life gets so busy that we forget not only to savor these times, but also to prioritize family and make time to spend together.
When we finished, we dragged the new top over to the well and held our breath as we slid it into place. Mom tried to wiggle the top and surprisingly, the new well top actually fit! Now, it just needs a coat of paint, which will probably be our next project!
(Some of the nails were sticking out, so I had to beat them down a little more-by the way, this is a great stress reliever!)