A few weeks ago, my daughter, Casey, decided she wanted to “build” something nice for her boyfriend’s birthday. Rick has a place on Canyon Lake in Central Texas. He has a great view of the lake from his deck.

She had done some research and chose to build an outdoor lounge for the deck. She had gone to a few websites to find just the right design she wanted for the deck. She ordered cushions. Casey’s plan required getting some palettes as the foundation for the L-shaped piece of furniture. Frankly, I thought her plans were very ambitious.

But she found that most palettes have formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals, so she made some adjustments to the plans. She asked Patti and me to come down and help her with the building of the furniture, because it was designed to be a surprise for Rick.

We helped Casey do the ‘measure twice, cut once” approach to her project. We got the hardware and did all the painting we needed to do to ensure the wood could withstand rainfall and the elements that are unique to Central Texas. And, Patti and I returned home.

Then, after we returned to Dallas, Patti and our sister-in-law, Lisa, left to go to Florida to visit Patti’s parents. I was looking forward to a few days being a couch tater watching the Master‘s Golf Tournament — my favorite golf tournament of all. I have been fortunate to go to Augusta and the tournament twice, and it is truly the most beautiful golf course I have ever seen.

While Lisa and Patti were in Florida, Casey asked if I could come back, bring some tools and finish the project. She knew it was Master’s weekend, but promised that we would have plenty of time to watch the tournament between working on the furniture.

When I arrived at Canyon Lake, Casey AND RICK met me at the house. The surprise project was no longer a surprise since Rick had arrived home earlier than expected from the job he was working on in Arkansas.

So, by the time I arrived, Rick and Casey had already begun assembling the foundation of the lounge. We all pitched in and made some great progress with two drills and six hands rather than four.

This meant that we had room for the three of us to hand to the golf course on Saturday morning. The local golf course has several gorgeous holes and frequent views of Canyon Lake. The weather was perfect and the three of us really enjoyed the morning on the course.

After the round and clean up, we picked up some additional items for the furniture before we started the final construction Saturday afternoon. We watched the Saturday round of the Master’s between assembling and final painting of the furniture.

Then, Saturday evening we went to a neat bistro/restaurant in New Braunfels for dinner. Beautiful evening, lots of good banter back and forth.

On Sunday, we finished assembling the furniture, applied wood putty to cover the drill holes and finished spot painting of the furniture. We were finished, and Rick was very happy with his birthday present.

And, we got to watch the Master’s, including Oosty’s double eagle on the 2nd hole. What a truly majestic shot. We had a beautiful salmon dinner in beautiful weather on the deck.

On Monday, I drove back to Dallas and along the way, thought about the weekend. I am very proud of Casey for wanting to do/build/create something for Rick, instead of taking the easy route and buy something. And, she was in the driver’s seat for this effort. She had her plans, knew what she wanted to do, was patient with her workers (Patti, Rick and me) for the whole project and was proud of her final effort.

I could not be more proud of her for her efforts. And, along the way back, I realized that as much as I enjoy watching the Master’s every year, spending time with the kids is more important than ANY golf tournament — any time any way.

What follows are some photos we took to illustrate the construction efforts. The finished product looks wonderful.

For anyone who has ever shared the golf course with me, you will recognize this image from the Saturday round as a rather “common” one.

Gotta take a break every now and then.

Painting was just part of the process.

Casey, the paint goes on the wood!

Having multiple drills helped.

Just about finished

After finishing the project, dinner on the deck was appropriate.

Here’s the finished lounge on Rick’s deck, with the cushions. Neat, huh?