When I was a young child, I would wake up on Saturday mornings to the smell of sawdust and the rhythmic shrill of a radial saw steadily keeping a bass line tempo with alternating hammer beats. While this wasn’t the beginning of any new contemporary music breakthrough, it became the constant Saturday sound and smell I could rely on every Spring and Summer.
This was my father working in the garage… on something. Usually he wasn’t building anything massive. The three largest projects he took on were the backyard patio, the built-in book shelving and a desk, which I still cherish.
He wasn’t a carpenter by trade. But he was a carpenter of life. What he was ultimately doing was he was building a foundation for himself to escape the stress of daily work life, while saving hard-earned money by ‘doing things himself.’ It was much more economical to build something with his hands rather than pay full retail for a finished product. But it was even more than that. I had learned it was about the pride of accomplishment, doing something that was challenging and taking on the task of completing something from dreams and imagination to final, tangible reality.
I often think about his work, every time I walk into a home improvement store and step into the lumber aisle. The aroma is a nostalgic one that takes me back to many a memorable Saturday. And it’s not so much about the actual craft of woodworking, as much as it is doing things the old-fashioned way, from scratch.
My father’s method to his madness wasn’t even about ‘creating something better’ or any perfectionist type of drive, it was for the mere satisfaction of a job well done all in a good day’s work. His reward was kicking back with a beer after the day was done to celebrate the outcome of completing what he started. There was something great about this.
I’ve gone through my life knowing a lot of half-assed carpenters. My father was not one of them. And it is because of him, neither am I….
1) Finish what you start.
2) Get closure by doing.
3) Get satisfaction by being…. Part of the woodwork.
4) Build a solid foundation.
5) Create a sturdy frame.
6) Don’t worry about splinters… they only help you remember why you are doing what you are doing in the first place.
7) Make your own house a home by what you build it with.
8) Then decorate your life with the fine memories you make by the experiences you fill your life and home with.
Woodwork. It’s a beautiful thing. Once you nail it, you’ve discovered what the real beauty of life is all about: something you build yourself.
© 2009 Queena Verbosity 100% Real Words
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