My brother and I both went over to do some work on my aunt’s house. Originally we were just there to paint and patch a few things up, but a rivalry developed between us. We started making these elaborate changes, each of us trying to top the other. My brother built these brick arches with sloping layers and walkways and high castle ramparts. In response, I built a huge gaming complex with a bowling alley and a maze-like pool where you could swim from room to room.
These constructions piled over each other, one after the another, spreading out over several acres of my aunt’s property, all of it connected by a network of underground tunnels and catacombs. Somewhere at the far end of it all, quiet and away from everything, was the best part, my crowning touch. A door at the dead end of a dark tunnel led unexpectedly outside to an open field where there were these two long clear tubes that stretched far up into the sky. By regulating the pressure and the air currents in both tubes, it allowed a person to rise comfortably in one tube, and descend comfortably in the other. The ride would take them up into the clouds, high above the world with a grand view of everything for miles around.
When my aunt came home and saw all the work that we had done, she just shook her head and said, “This is what you get when you ask Einstein to paint your house.” She said it with a grin, exasperated but affectionate, amused but amazed. It was a good thing to hear.