Lumberjock Goes Cold Turkey

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Don posted 05-09-2007 05:18 PM 1319 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have two daughters; both married with children. One lives not far from where I live in Melbourne, Australia. One lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Earlier this year, I planned a trip to Vancouver to see my family members that live there and to spend some quality time with my two Grandchildren. My daughter had an opportunity to take a seven day vacation in Florida, so I agreed to look after her children during her vacation.

The experience has been awesome. I’ve made lunches, washed clothes, driven my granddaughter to ballet, my grandson to baseball, and both of them to school and school activities. We kicked the soccer ball in the park, combed tangle hair into a classic ballet bun and cuddled up during Papa’s Story Time.

I wouldn’t change this experience for anything in the world. It’s been an absolute joy; one that I won’t ever forget, and hopefully one that will remain in the memories of my two Canuck grandchildren long after I’ve gone home to be with my Lord.

But, and I know you could see this ‘but’ coming, but, I’ve had to go ‘cold turkey’ when it comes to woodworking. Sure, I’ve visited some of my favorite woodworking haunts in Vancouver, purchased some woodworking stuff that isn’t available in Australia, and of course visited this great site every day. But these things don’t quite fill the void; in fact, in one respect, they make it worse.

I was quite prepared to miss the Thorsen Side Table Challenge, but what I wasn’t prepared for, is the extent to which I miss going down to my shop and just puttering around. It might be the smell of freshly cut wood, or the high pitched sound of my Triton Router, or the ‘shlick, shlick, shlick’ of my razor sharp number five plane that I miss. Whatever it is – I miss it more than I expected.

So, would I forgo this opportunity to spend quality time with my grandchildren? Not in a heartbeat. In fact, there is virtually nothing that would outweigh this once in a lifetime experience.

So cold turkey it is.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

11 comments so far

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4040 days

#1 posted 05-09-2007 05:26 PM

You’re just going to happen to open up a new workshop in Vancouver, Canada that’s all there is to it. That way you could go back and forth and not miss a beat. Thank you for sharing this nice story.

I do not have Grandchildren yet, but I do look forward to spoiling them to pieces.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4210 days

#2 posted 05-09-2007 05:33 PM

Well we’re here to tell you our stories so you can live vicariously through us, I hope. I know it ain’t the same but it’ll have to do. You might try teaching the younguns some of your tricks of the trade and see if you can get them interested. With a hammer, some nails and saw and a board, a very small investment, you might get them interested in building a birdhouse, maybe they have gramps natural abilities. Just a thought. Anyway love and enjoy them while you can. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4262 days

#3 posted 05-09-2007 05:38 PM

I’m happy for you to have had the chance to spend some time with your Grandchildren. Precious Moments !
I’m sure you have recovered from your lapse of shop time.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4124 days

#4 posted 05-09-2007 05:46 PM

I am glad to hear you had the time to spend with your grandkids Don. The shop will always be there. The nice thing about it is, you now have the desire to get back into the shop as you return. That will probably spur you on to new projects and make up for the time you were away.

Nice to have you back again.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4124 days

#5 posted 05-09-2007 05:48 PM

how beautiful—(don’t tell Obi, but it brought tears to my eyes).
If you are still in Vancouver, can you look over towards Port Moody and send a wave to my granddaughter? (and her parents of course)

Sounds like you are still getting your “fix” through other methods, but as you said, it just makes you miss the “real thing” even more.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Diane's profile


546 posts in 4086 days

#6 posted 05-09-2007 07:54 PM

This brought a smile to me too, I’m so glad you got this special time to enjoy and remember.


View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4363 days

#7 posted 05-09-2007 11:39 PM

Don: You need to be like Todd. Have a shop whereever he is. That way he can contuinue his work.

Enjoy your time with the children. I live within 200 miles of all of my grandchildren. But it is still a special time when you can spend it with them. And of course they go to school so you get to unwind and do the fatherly things while they are gone.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4274 days

#8 posted 05-10-2007 04:03 AM

Don, enjoy your grandchildren and if and when time allows you’ll make it back to the shop to build them a birthday present or gift just because. Life is too short…so make the most of it!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4057 days

#9 posted 05-10-2007 07:17 AM

I agree, Don. Life is too short. If I may, I’d like to interject an opinion from the standpoint of a grandkid… Having lost both my mom’s parents within the last 3 years, I have regrets I never imagined. They lived full lives and provided several opportunities for me throughout the years yet I miss them more than I prepared myself for as they became ill and passed. They were a very important part of my upbringing and I have vivid memories of formative lessons they taught me. I am also fairly confident I got many of the woodworking genes from my grandfather and I know much of my tenacity came from my grandmother.

Enjoy all the time you can building those relationships that will last for many, many years. Sounds like you are well on the path to that end. :-)

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4140 days

#10 posted 05-10-2007 07:48 AM

Thanks, all.

Yes, I am confident that laying woodworking aside for while is a small price to pay to play a part in the lives of my Grandchildren. And today, I took them to visit my mother – they call her Grandma, and clearly there was love expressed between them. It warms my heart.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4290 days

#11 posted 05-11-2007 04:44 AM

Cold turkey is just so hard to take… I prefer mine warm, with gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce in sandwich form! (or as thanksgiving leftovers soup!)

I’m so happy that I’ve started working with my Dad. After all my “formative years” when he worked 3rd shift, it’s great to get so much time together – too bad we’re working all the time, but it is still quality time. Something we can bond over – especially since I’m not reallyan armchair athlete like the rest of the guys in my family, so remodeling, being creative and getting to joke around at work makes up for not having that in common.
Sure he was always there for our games (little league, soccer, track, etc…) and events growing up, but living on a different clock had it’s disadvantages.

I wish my grandfather retired while I was still in school – rather than the very summer I started working an office job full time.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics