Bert's Dutch Windmill

March 27, 2024

My mom Ada was adopted when she was a baby by Bert and Beryl Jensen in 1956. I never really had a chance to form a bond with my grandparents the way most people do, as we grew up poor in Alaska. Bert and Beryl lived in Puyallup, Washington, so traveling with 4-6 kids (depending on the timeframe) just wasn’t feasible for my mom, or her older parents.

Since my grandparents passed away, my mom has struggled with letting their possessions go, which I’ve read is typical for boomers. Sometimes she passes them off to one of her 6 kids, but that usually leads to hurt feelings because we either don’t have room for these items, or have no idea what to do with them. I know it’s hard for her to understand our disconnect from these things she that cherishes so much.

One of her favorite items is a dutch windmill my Grandpa Bert made in the 90’s. Apparently, making windmills was all the rage back in those days. She used to keep this windmill in her front yard near a little pond my dad made for her. Years ago, she sent the plans for this windmill to Nick and myself asking if we could cut the wood for her to recreate this project. I’m not sure if grandpa’s was somehow destroyed, or if she just wanted to make another one to keep my grandpa’s windmill company. Either way, the plans got misplaced, and I was unable to find them…until now!

Since I’ve found them, I’ve spent the past week scanning and re-creating the blue prints. I wanted to clean up the original plans because they were designed in the 90’s. I’m guessing the software they used to create these plans was not that great (if they used software at all). They also used several different fonts, so I pared those down to two.

Now that I’m done with the blueprints, my plan is to use our CNC machine to cut out two windmills: one for me and one for my mom. I want to return the original plans to her, but I would also like to print two of the new plans I created so I can mail one to her and hang the other in my house. I’ve had fun adjusting these blueprints, and now I’m trying to figure out which color I’d like them to be. My house looks like a rainbow threw up in it, so I’m reluctant to just print them in blue, but dang, it looks really good in blue. I’ve also renamed the plans to “Bert’s Dutch Windmill.” He didn’t create the original, but it brought him, my mom, and now myself, joy, so it seemed fitting. It’s as though I’m working on a project with both of them, even though one is gone and the other is thousands of miles away.

My plan is to finish this project up by mother’s day or her anniversary in May, so I’ve got time to decide what I want to do. The next step is ensuring the .ai files I created will work with our CNC machine. Nick wants to work on that part, so we’ve still got some work cut out for us.

Enjoy all the colors!

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