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“Want to come up and help me build that patio?” Captain Josh said.

Being the mother of adult sons, I long to hear these kinds of requests. They hearken to my fledgling independent life as a young married woman when I went back home. My Dad always made sure we had some kind of ‘project’ to accomplish. Once you leave home and start your own, memories and connections take on a different context. In my life, I fondly remember those first, hopeful, learning adult experiences. I say learning because it surprises me even now, how many things I learned from just ‘doing’ things on those project visits with my parents.

“We can use Jake’s F450 to get the materials,” Josh planned over the phone. “I called John, he can help too.” This is real good to my mind, because although I am enthusiastic, Fort Hood at the first of August for patio building means 105 degree heat. Another, especially strong set of young arms and back strikes me as a doable plan.

Decomposed granite and flagstone weighing down Jake’s truck, Grace, at a tad over 2 tons, parked in Captain Josh’s driveway, I figured the best help I could be was to begin the carting of bed material to the outlined perimeter. Gloves on, wheelbarrow in hand, I carted, as the men in the group poured over Captain Josh’s do it yourself patio book.

We were all in agreement. The patio needed to be level. Conceptually designed as a square, it was somewhat more than necessary for the patio to be, well, square. These are more serious conclusions than one might imagine. Have you ever tried to level something? Have you ever tried to make a patio perfectly square? In some weird way of strings and pipes and a yard long level, the bare-chested members, mostly led by Captain Josh, accomplished those two requirements and over the next 36 hours the back of Josh’s home was graced with a quite pretty, square and level patio.

I am certain that each of the patio building participants carried away with them memories that they will rethink some years hence. Part of it is bound to be involved in just plain expertise in building future patios. One of us, the momma, even now sits and savors a couple of fine family moments.

In the middle of building, in the unbearable heat, Captain Josh, with the best twinkle in his blue eyes, announced: “Popsicle time”, and in his hands he carried those little plastic tubes of sugared and flavored water that I had to have provided for he and his brothers over two decades ago. Sitting in the shaded heat, I sipped on mine. How singularly good, I thought to myself. “This is refreshing, Josh,” I said out loud.

“That’s because they are made with love,” he said simply, with love all in his eyes.

I think a momma is in a good place, when her adult sons teach hew new things, covering the range of making patios and sharing popsicles.

You know what I am hoping for you, whatever your age…