Monday, December 19, 2005

The workshop

Buddy is a third generation carpenter and has accumulated a large assortment of tools over the years. He has a workshop full of tools and lumber. There is a place for everything and everything is in its place (most of the time). He knows exactly where everything is, too. This summer I was looking for some clothespins that I knew he had a stash of, and when asking him, he said upstairs all the way in the back, beneath the fan, in a box. I followed the directions and voila! There they were. It is like that about everything in there, he just KNOWS.

Over the years, people have come to work in the shop. Buddy's dad used to come up often after he retired, always working on something. He made picture frames, and quilt racks for all us kids and grandkids. Buddy's sister, Sue, is said to have the family sawdust running in her veins, also. She started working in the shop back when she was still teaching and started making wooden games and toys to bring to the classroom and to sell for extra cash. She and her husband quit their day jobs (both teachers) and now have their own business making education games, selling to school systems and home schoolers - Muggins. Sue has her own shop now, but still comes down occasionally for something she needs. She knows she is welcome, and knows where the key is, but always calls first out of courtesy.

Buddy was between construction employment for quite a while at one point and started making wooden crafts for sale, doing the craft show circuit. During this time, the shop was running full time, with all of us out there helping at one point or another. Melissa, Carrie, and I were taught to run a few of the tools to help Dad out. Then he would go out peddling his wares, sometimes taking one of us with him.

But for the most part, the shop doesn't get much use now, just for occasional projects. This time of year, though, it becomes more popular again. Handmade gifts always seem better to give, and of course the price is right! Buddy has made quite a bit of Intarsia (see lighthouse picture above) and scroll work for gifts, and our youngest daughter, Carrie, has become quite proficient at it, also (see picture at left). Melissa even tried it one year, making some ornaments to give all the family members.

One of Buddy's coworkers came over Saturday to use the band saw to make some log slabs to use in his Christmas present makings. Carrie is coming over tomorrow to make a couple of presents, Buddy always has a project at one stage or another he is working on, and Melissa called last night wanting to know if they could hide some Santa stuff in the shop…

Buddy's boss once shared his philosophy on the purpose of the woodshop, saying that it was not just a place for tools and wood and projects, but a destination, an escape. When the wife and kids were just a little too much, he could say "I have to go work in the shop." When I think about it, this rings very true. My dad had a shop he would escape to, and for the life of me, I cannot remember any project that ever came out of that shop! I guess everyone needs a place to escape to from time to time, whether it be a workshop, sewing room, going shopping or to the movies, or even just mental escaping with a good book or even a computer.

I am looking forward to seeing all the creative gifts coming out of the shop this year, it's kinda like the North Pole!


Motherkitty said...

Beautiful beyond words. What a lovely gift your family has. (I wish I was on your Christmas list!) I have a "thing" for objects made of wood and appreciate your family's talent. I especially loved the picture of the lighthouse.

Carrie said...

Thanks MOM! Traditions and good family traits are hard to come by these days. I can only hope that one day I will have a family of my own with such great traditions. I thank you and DAD both for giving us all such great family memories!

jellyhead said...

I love your idea that everyone needs a metaphorical 'shop' - how true that is.

You have a very talented and artistic family...the lighthouse is wonderful.

Seeing Anew said...

Yes, I like the lighthouse too! My dad had an extensive workshop which took up half our basement. I remember waking up at 8 am on Saturday mornings to the sound of a circular saw whining away. He made a whole set of wooden candelabras for our church one Christmas. It definitely was an escape place for him. I think the computer/Internet is a virutal escape place for many people now.

Finn said...

Thanks you for sharing your family with us Susan..*VBS* I had never thought about everyone needing a place "to get away", but it rings so true. Especially in today's hustle-bustle world.

What marvelous gifts, talents and interests your family has...I so admire that..*S*