My wife and I are not the typical twenty somethings. We don’t hang out with a lot of people our age that often. This is especially true at our church which happens to have an aging congregation. In fact, we go to a Saturday night service where we bring the average age down by about a decade some nights. I’ve pondered why this is true of us a few times and it all comes to the same conclusion: We just get along with certain generations better than with our own.
This has it’s benefits. Firstly, I get a lot of insight into life after fifty a couple decades ahead of myself. We tend to not get drawn up into the buy-a-trendy-gadget crap that some of our younger friends (of which there are very few). Also, wisdom rubs off on us a lot.
Another benefit that I’ve experienced several times is the we-don’t-want-to-store-it benefit. This is when the mountain of stuff piled up in someone’s house starts to topple and they would just assume give it away then have to keep it. I’ve gotten some good deals on a couple of tools before this way. Recently, though, I hit the jackpot.
An old fella named Homer at my church knows that I’m a woodworker. He’s even seen some of my better work at the church in little things I’ve done. Well, he is in a group of us that go out to dinner regularly after the late Saturday service and we talk quite a bit about anything. (I’ve heard some of the dirtiest jokes…) Well, the last time we were out he asked me if I wanted some old barn wood that he had in his garage. I don’t turn down offers of lumber generally, so I said I’d come by and take a look at it.
So I came by the next Saturday afternoon with the truck to take a look. Homer led me down to the garage while telling me the story of where the wood came from and what it was. Turns out, Homer, his father before him, and his father’s father were all woodworking hobbiests. Homer doesn’t do much anymore since he’s gotten a bit older and the arthritis has settled in (he hobbles a bit with a cane most days). The wood itself wasn’t really “barn wood” but it was just stored in a barn.
Apparently, his grandfather felled a walnut tree on the family farm around the turn of the century and had the wood sawn into lumber which he planned on using to make some cabinets. After years in the barn (like 30 or so) he had only used about half of the wood or less. He gave the farm to his son when he died and his son had plans for the wood as well. And of course, it was never used.
Eventually, they sold the farm when Homer’s dad got older. Homer was young enough to want that old walnut as well and he toted half of it (split it with is brother) home. It has since sat in the garage waiting for that special project. Now, he was giving it to me because he just couldn’t get around to using it.
If the story wasn’t enough, it turned out to be a pile of short, but good boards that all together equaled about 100 board feet of medium growth walnut. Most of which has a beautiful grain.
So my Christmas came early (as it was a week before when this happened). Now, I’m planning on building a small piece to give to Homer and his wife Barb as a thank you. Something like an arts and crafts style plant stand or end table I thought would be nice. All in all, I’d use the entire stack to build them something just to get the chance to work with that quality of wood.
This just goes to show you that having good friends is always a good thing.
P.S.: I’m hoping I’m a good enough friend that he gives me the old Shop Smith that was next to the wood pile some day!
-- He said wood...http://hickbyassociation.blogspot.com/