Dad’s memorial service is less than 2 weeks away. His best friend and family wanted to do something special in his memory so they purchased a flag pole for the farm. My father was a patriot who served in the Air Force so flying a flag at his beloved farm in his honor is a wonderful tribute.
Mom came down Sunday so that she could sign for the flag pole when it arrived on Monday and then we could install it that evening. Saturday I spent a little time digging a 5′ deep, 22″ wide hole where she wanted the flag installed. We had purchased quick-Crete and were planning on filling a 5 gallon bucket with the concrete and mounting the pole in this bucket. This is how we have done it previously so we knew it would work.
The flag arrived and Mom had the day to read the instructions. They had included a pvc sleeve that you were to mount into the concrete, then you would slide the pole into the sleeve, shim it to level, fill the balance of the sleeve with play sand, then seal with silicone and finally top with the ground cap that went around the base of the pole.
Mom got play sand, silicone, and another bag of quick-Crete. We got the cement mixed and placed in the bucket around the sleeve. We placed the bucket in the hole with cement around it and got that leveled off. Then the 74-year old and I had to get the 20′ pole into the sleeve. Mom was guiding and I was lifting. It had to be a riot to watch! At one point I lost control of the pole and it started to fall with Mom straddling the end of the pole. I was yelling at her to get out of the way. That was not an emergency room visit I wanted to explain.
We got the pole in, shimmed the sides to level, and were getting ready to start filling with play sand. Then Mom pointed out that we had forgotten to put the stupid ground cap on the pole. We had to unshim, take the pole out of the sleeve, slide the ground cap on the pole, then start the whole install process over again.
By the time we finished the install I was reading the level off the glint of the setting sun, or maybe it was the rising moon. The flag pole was up. This morning, I didn’t have the courage to look and see if it had made it through the night. I imagine my father is in hysterics in heaven watching our antics. Of course, he has to be proud that he raised his girls to be so darn independent (or stubborn), even if it might take us a few tries to get it right.