Two peas in a pod — and a tree house!

First Posted: 5/23/2014

In Nadia Kuchak’s family’s garden each year are a variety of vegetables and plants, including potatoes, garlic cloves, beans, carrots, corn and tomatoes and lots of peas. Her father, Jeff Kuchak said he can’t plant enough peas, and during the summer, he and Nadia go out to the garden and picks peas for breakfast.

“She (Nadia) eats them fresh,” her dad said.

What is her fascination with gardening and peas? The five-year-old Nicholson resident said, “In the summer I like to plant. I like eating vegetables. Peas are great for breakfast. I love to peel the shells.”

Planting and tending to the garden are only a few of the activities she works on side-by-side with her father.

They recently constructed a 10-feet by-10 feet tree house with a deck, based on a design Nadia provided .

“When we came up with the idea, I asked her what kind of a playhouse she wanted and she said she wanted a tree house, so she drew a couple of pictures of what she wanted it to look like,” Jeff said. “It kind of looked like a log cabin, so that’s the look we went with. The interior has two benches and a fold-down table and is painted ‘Marvelous Mauve.’”

“Daddy painted the outside brown, so it looks like the house we live in,” Nadia said.

When she steps into the tree house she and her dad worked on together, Nadia feels “happy, tremendously happy.”

“I like to play in it,” she said. “I like to play with my friends in it. It’s a fun place to paint.”

She keeps her easel and painting gear in the tree house for times when she has the need to be artistic, another trait she shares with her dad, a wood carver and art teacher in the Elk Lake School District.

Nadia attends her dad’s craft shows and helps to sell spoons, bowls and other items he carves from storm damaged wood.

“If it’s an art fair and they have a kids’ contest, Nadia participates,” he said. “She took second place at the Fine Arts Festival in Tunkhannock this year. As I’m carving sometimes, she’ll work right along with me.”

Nadia’s most favorite book, “The Princess Has Worms,” is a story about a princess who goes fishing. It is one in a series of books her father wrote and illustrated for her, using blank hardcover books. Other titles of books hefashioned for her are “When Dogs Can Fly” and “Naughty Nadia”.

In addition to gardening, art and building, their schedule allows for weekly trips to the Dalton Community Library, where Nadia selects books her father will read to her.

Jeff’s favorite children’s book is “Scarlet Bean.”

“I love the way the parents keep telling her, we knew you (their child) would do something special,” he said of the characters in the book. “I think it’s something nice to say to her at night before she goes to bed. We know you’re going to do something special.”

Jeff Nadia and her mom, Shannon (who is a fourth grade teacher in the Lackawanna Trail School District), are deciding what to do this year for Father’s Day.

“We normally go to a zoo or do some other family activity,” he said. “I enjoy the time we (Nadia, her mom Shannon and I) spend together. It’s fun being out and doing something we all enjoy.”

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