My dad and I do not have the same relationship that other fathers do with their kids, or maybe they do, but bonding with my dad is a little weird. My parents got divorced when I was about 5, and my dad moved back to wisconsin where he lived with his aunt, in the house that he now lives. Over summers and holiday vacations, my brother would go out and visit dad, and we would do construction projects, tear down walls, put up walls, move houses, do roofs, etc etc. i have learned a lot of practical skills about home improvement and construction and electrical work, all of which have come in handy while working on my own house.
While this sounds like good father bonding, the tough part about this is my father is not always the best communicator. he has a lot going on in his head, and sometimes, no words come out, or if they do, it is almost impossible to understand what he is talking about. I do not know if it is a gift or a curse, but I manage to follow his trains of thought most of the time, and with relatively little amounts of confusion, can know what he is talking about. Other people on the other hand, do not appear to be so lucky.
My dad has been working on his house for almost 15 years now. A couple of years ago it was the bathroom, which took a couple of years to finish, and before that it was the entire attic, which my brother and I helped tear apart, but then didn't get finished until last year. This year it was the porch and the deck. The porch was really just a storage unit for old crap, like tv's, clothes, cookie tins, and some treasures.
He found all sorts of toys, and old beer bottles, some glass cars and some old plates, some tooth powder, and all sorts of other things. His house is kind of like a museum, with history from the family and the town displayed all around.
This trip we were supposed to build a deck, but the wood didn't get delivered. So, we did some drywalling, we put in a hardwood floor, and we did some electrical work. We did also go to the Oshkosh Public Museum, and the Paine Art Center, and eat some pizza, cook some chicken soup, and hang out with the family at a bbq.
It was a good visit, and pictures will show up if I can get them off of my phone, which was shorted out by an ocean wave.