LIMA — Quarantine has become the perfect time for local residents to finally tackle those home projects nagging their to-do lists.
Casey Bevilockway, of Lima, has had an old dining room table stashed away for about a year and finally had the opportunity to dig it out and refinish it while her family was under the novel coronavirus stay-at-home order.
“We needed a table for our dining room, so I had been looking at some, but I like to put a personal touch on them,” she said. “We’ve had a table for probably a year now, but I just haven’t had any time to do anything with it. With school out, I wasn’t running them to athletics or back and forth to school, so now was the perfect time.”
Bevilockway also got guidance from her grandpa who is a seasoned craftsman himself. She has been learning from him for a few years now, which has inspired her to make a few furniture pieces for her home. She previously crafted a coffee table and wanted her dining room tabletop to match in her home’s open concept.
“I bought the table from a friend of mine, and it needed some work. I started to sand the top and realized it wasn’t going to turn out how I wanted it to,” she said. “I had some scrap wood from my son’s bunk bed, so I cut the pieces using a biscuit (joiner) cutter and played with it like a puzzle.”
Jeff and Linda Duff, also of Lima, took their time to work more on a passion project for their front yard. With family down in North Carolina, they frequently visit and Jeff Duff fell in love with one neighborhood staple.
“Her aunt, who has since passed, used to live in North Carolina there in Southport, toward that neck of the woods, where people would put out old boats that aren’t any good anymore and make planters out of them,” he said. “The first time I saw it, I told her, ‘We’re putting a boat in the front yard.’ She said, ‘No, we aren’t.’ I said, ‘Yes, we are.’ Now she’s in love with it.”
Duff has been trying to find an old, unused rowboat but has had trouble nailing one down. It wasn’t until he was walking his dog over the winter that he strolled up on a neighbor of his unloading one.
“The boat was in really, really bad shape,” he said. Together, the Duffs put in more than 40 hours of work sanding the surface, filling holes and painting the boat. Once it was front-yard ready, they uprooted their flowerbed and began to re-plant in and around the boat.
Jeff Duff is semi-retired and drives buses for Westgate Lanes in his free time so he keeps busy, but that quickly changed.
“When the virus hit, everything came to a screeching halt. Besides doing other odd projects, this was the biggest one I had my heart set on doing — mostly because I knew it would aggravate the wife, but now it’s turned out so nice she loves it,” Jeff Duff chuckled. “What’s funny is now we’re having people stop in front of our house to get out and look at it. We’ve never seen anybody do that before.”
Hummingbirds are also frequent guests of the boat planter.
Ashley Oleviri, of Lima, also took her down-time to work on her landscaping. With a collapsing mailbox, she took to Etsy and other online stores to find a new decorative mailbox planter. However, she wasn’t prepared for the sticker shock and decided to take on the project herself.
“I didn’t go off any plans, I just kind of bought a big board and cut it to fit a new mailbox, figured out how big the flower box would be and what numbers would fit and cut them to size,” she said. “The biggest thing was not being able to go into retail stores whether they were closed or not in the Lima area, so it took a long time for online things to come.”
Her husband remained an essential worker, but she was even able to work on the DIY project with her children.
“My son is high-functioning autistic so he goes to a different school and my daughter goes to a city school. Between taking them to two different schools, managing two different curriculums and all of that, those were gone,” she said. “Now that I’m home not running around all the time during the day, there are several hours in the day I didn’t have before, and they were even able to help.”
On top of getting to spend more time with her children, she hoped that they would also learn a valuable lesson from their project.
“Buying something already complete is fine, but I guess for me, even if it costs a little more money to do it yourself, I like to do it myself because it gives you that kind of pride of I made this happen,” Oleviri said. “I really wanted to feel good about myself doing something, and with the kids home while they weren’t allowed to go to school, you can show them you can make things — you don’t have to buy everything.”
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.