Sometimes, seeing some wood can bring complex emotions…
My father-in-law was a woodworker, and when he died we were faced with what to do with his shop, I wasn’t a woodworker at the time so we had little use for his tools and stash of wood. So we gave his tools away to some woodworking friends of ours (and took a lot of flack from relatives for not selling them). His wood stash ended up in a friends barn with the idea that I’d trade wood for woodworking.
Some of wood was indeed traded off as planned, but most of it just sat in the barn. In time I became a woodworker too… The friend who has stored it all these years is in the process of remodeling his shop/barn, and knowing my remodeling was essentially complete, he asked me to come get it. (Fair enough, it’s been six years.)
Today we unloaded the wood into my shop.
(The left hand stack is pine. The next one over is oak – there are three more boards just like amazing one on top. The next, Alder – some if it spalted. Finally some walnut and maple.)
Handling the wood brought back a rush of memories. I remember being in his shop as Dad worked on a project. He was a careful and thorough woodworker who got great joy out of building things for the house and for those he loved. He’d smile the biggest happiest smile you ever saw as he thought about the recipients using and enjoying the fruits of his labor.
Here in the house we have so many things that Dad built… within arms reach is a bookcase he gave us for our first anniversary. In my shop are two sets of shelves he built for the storage room in our first house. He built the coffee table I rest my feet on at the end of day, and lamp the lights our living room. (And they were in his living room for many years.) In my wife’s studio are two shelves he built… And so much more throughout our house.
I’ll forever be forever saddened that the tiny spark of interest in woodworking he ignited didn’t flare into a fire until it was too late to learn from him. Thank you Dad for that gift.
-- Derek, Bremerton WA --