Every year or so, my parents try to get all the kids together for a family reunion. The past two reunions, they’ve rented a beach house off the coast of Oregon. However, this year they decided to create a working model of a slave labor camp.
Hahaha! I mean, this year, they decided to host a “working reunion”.
You see, 30 years ago, my parents bought 9 acres of land outside of Jerome, ID. They put up a trailer at one end, and proceeded to build their dream home. Doing most of the work themselves, they finished the house free and clear.
However, for a variety of reasons, shortly after it was finished, they decided to sell the house. A couple named Glenn and Polly Spencer bought the house, and from then after, it was the “Spencer” house.
Although my parents moved into a rental house nearby, they kept the three acre lot next door to the “Spencer” house. (They had also previously sold the trailer and another three acres.) Eventually, they began to build another house next door to the Spencers. Once it was finished enough to live in (i.e. no exposed wires), they moved in. Through the remainder of my childhood they continued to work on the second house.
Meanwhile, the Spencer house went through a few owners and renters. A year ago, it came up for sale again, and my parents bought it.
Unfortunately, the previous tenants had allowed the house to slowly decay. Although still structurally sound, it now required extensive renovation.
Hence, the “working reunion”. My parents somehow persuaded me, my sisters (Heather, Jennifer, and Rachel), my brother (Joseph) and their SO’s to come help them renovate their house last week. The pictures below the cut document that week. Note that the pictures are big, and most of wthem would probably be of interest only to my family.
Jay (Heather’s husband)
Steve (Rachel’s boyfriend)
Kelly (Jennifer’s husband)
Hailey, Ethan (Heather and Jay’s kids)
Bryce and Breanna (Jennifer and Kelly’s kids)
Noah and Jonah (Joe’s kids)
Sarah Twitchell (cousin, babysitter)
Rochelle Twichell (cousin, babysitter)
painted wainscotting - Mom, Rachel, Heather, Jen
installed wainscotting - Heather, Jen, Chris, Kelly
laid out countertop tile - Rachel, Steve
cut countertop tile - Dad
installed countertop tile - Heather, Jen, Dad
grouted countertop tile - Heather, Jen, Dad
painted kitchen cabinets - Heather, Jen, Rachel, Mom
painted bedrooms - Mom
dug sprinkler ditches - Jay, Steve
laid pipe for sprinklers - Jay, Steve, Dad
laid hardwood floor - Joe, Chris, Jay
garbage removal - Jay, Chris
babysitting - Rochelle, Sarah
craft services - Mom
dog wrangling - Heather, Joe, Mom
crew quarters - Uncle Kenny and Aunt Sharon
Joe takes a break on Monday, the first day of the hardwood floor installation.
11:30 a.m., Saturday, my brother-in-law Jay adds the final plank. Whew!
Mom, Heather, and Ethan looking out from the garage to the driveway. That’s Mom’s Chevy pickup ( her second great love ) in the background.
Jonah doesn’t like handlers.
My Mom hired my cousin Sarah to watch the kids. Here we see the kids have treed Sarah on top of the garage roof, and are now hunting for firewood.
Ethan (age 2) tires of dinner conversation, and falls asleep in Heather’s arms at Johnny Carinos
My Uncle Kenny and Aunt Sharon. Uncle Kenny, after spilling dressing oil on Aunt Sharon: “Now we’re ready for bed!”