Last night was a late night in the shed. Tonight will be too. My father is 'getting things ready'. All this 'getting things ready' is for the so-called "garage-sale" at the church he attends.
He was given the timber by someone else who attends and felt that it should be returned - in a slightly different form.
He has spent some weeks making a range of "late Victorian and early Edwardian" toys. These are one of his passions. Until he ceased driving my father would head off at quite regular intervals to give a talk about these toys. He had some original examples. He had also made many more so that people could have a "hands on" experience of playing with them. Occasionally he has made such things as presents. One small child was fascinated but puzzled by a small moving toy he was given because there was no battery. There are 'tumbling men', 'Jacob's ladders', and ducks that walk down an incline
There are also some jigsaw puzzles (photograph of one of the oldest churches in Adelaide), some wooden manipulative puzzles and some rather nifty Nativity scenes that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle when not being used.
It has been a challenge for my father. He last did something as big as this about fourteen years ago for a much larger and more commercial event - although his proceeds went to charity. Since then he has continued to make things. He made buttons and boxes earlier this year. They were sold at a knitting event and, as always, the proceeds went to charity.
My father was 73 back then. Now he is nearly 88. It is a long time in between. I am thankful he can still do things. I know he is a lot slower. Once he would have been in the shed until 10pm. Now he will come in about 8pm. But, he is enjoying himself - and someone else will also benefit.