I wanted to make a house for birds.

Actually, I wanted to make artsy birdhouses that would hang sweetly, Pinterest-style, from the tree at the front of our house. Initially, I wasn’t so concerned about the birds.

On Easter Sunday after an egg hunt and a ham lunch, my dad hauled out several birdhouse gourds he had grown the previous summer and dried over the winter. He displayed them proudly, walking us through the simple steps it would take for my sisters and me to make birdhouses ourselves. He would give us the gourds; we just needed to drill holes, paint, tie string, and hang. Simple enough.

“Do you have a large enough drill bit?” he asked. I looked at my husband. We shook our heads.