I’m re-posting this review-lite of David Giffels’s first memoir, _All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House_ in response to a writing prompt–Dream House–over at Lorna’s site, Gin & Lemonade. As my house is still recovering (slowly) from the excitement of a burst pipe, I thought a bit of house reno humor was in order. To respond to Lorna’s prompt, yourself, go here: https://ginlemonade.com/2019/02/13/house-hunting-as-a-wheelchair-user-other-stories/ Happy Friday! ~ Rebecca

Rust Belt Girl


I was sixteen before I knew a dad who didn’t drive a pickup truck.

Of course, this speaks as much to my limited teenage powers of observation as it does to my rural Ohio upbringing. Still…

My dad’s life was–and is–in his truck. A dad without a truck? How else would one: haul his 84 Lumber finds to turn the attic into proper living quarters; bring home fresh-split logs–and the log-splitter–to stoke the wood stove in winter; tow a rotted shell of a boat to be restored from the ribs up–in the workshop designed and built yourself?

In my eyes, my dad was the original DIY-er, before that catchy name was put to skillful industriousness, craftsmanship, and thrift.

As such…reading award-winning Akron, Ohio, author David Giffels’ memoir All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House felt like going home. Cursory jacket copy summary:

With their infant son…

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7 thoughts on “ALL THE WAY HOME and the back- and heart-breaking art of the DIY

  1. Only as an Italian immigrant in United States I can understand the meaning of a man and his truck! Here spaces are so big that having such a gigantic vehicle is so normal! In Italy it’s very rare, streets and parking lot are so narrow!

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  2. I have great admiration for can do people and am lucky my husband is one of those … minus the truck. Trucks are not really a thing in England. He builds, plumbs, repairs and services the vehicles. He decorates, cooks and rewires. He irons and washes, tiles and repairs the roof. He cuts grass washes and polishes the cars and cares about everyone equally. He unknowingly puts many to shame. Oh and he never says do it yourself. 🤔🤣😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for your husband–and for you! And cooks, too? That’s wonderful! I so wish I was DIY-savvy. My brother picked up on all my dad’s knowledge, while I was busy studying ballet–not quite the same kind of handy! At this stage of life, plumbing come is much handier than pirouetting!


  3. I can identify – my father in law is very handy and, growing up, my husband often had timber stuck between the seats and out through the boot of the car. Luckily, he taught his kids a bit of DIY too.

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