For as long as I can remember I have loved the smell of sawdust, that smell that screamed “wood work;” dad is building something again! And of course since my dad was a carpenter, that sawdust scent was ever present for most of my childhood.
My dad built our home and much of the furniture inside. I can remember one year asking him what he wanted for Christmas. His response, “Oh Genny, just buy me a bag of nails and I’ll be happy.” That was the year he was building stairs for our new second floor. I bought him a very large bag of nails and sure enough, he was thrilled! He was a man who knew what made him happy: building, tools, and yes, NAILS!
I didn’t get to visit a lot after I was grown. My parents lived in New York and I lived in California so the cost prohibited frequent visits. But one of the last times I visited it was summer and dad was building a picnic table. I said, “Gee dad, wouldn’t it be cheaper to just a buy a picnic table versus building one?” His response was in true carpenter’s form, “What’s the fun in that!”
I have lots of happy memories of just hanging around my dad while he worked on various projects. He always had a joke or some neat little story to share while measuring, sawing, pounding, and sanding, and surprisingly time would just evaporate. Hours would seem like mere moments had passed! I’d watch him sweat and labor in pure delight, and when whatever he was working on was done it felt super exciting to see the finished product!
Over the years I watched my dad build everything from homes to flower pots, there was nothing too big and nothing too small. He drafted the plans and executed every one. He did mention a time or two that building plans (and the details involved) were not his favorite part, but he never was one to actually buy plans. I don’t know if they weren’t offered back then or what, but he always drew up his own. He was very “old school” about lots of what he did, so perhaps that why he did it himself, but I guess I’ll never know for sure since he’s now in heaven building things for God.
Needless to say, I have lots of positive associations where wood working is concerned, and I think many a person would find incredible satisfaction from the pursuit; and if they’re able to share it with their children, well, all the better. After all, I know my dad built lots of memories for me while he was busy building everything else that added to our life, so here is a link for a product that offers thousands of wood working plans with step-by-step instructions, photos & diagrams to make every project laughably easy. Enough projects to last a good twenty years while you raise your kids! http://www.squidoo.com/wood-working-projects-building-memories-and-a-home-