Friday, January 04, 2013


When I was growing up, it seemed as if my family’s house was constantly under construction.

My dad, at first a finish carpenter and cabinet-maker, soon started building houses because it paid better.

But at home he was also building, remodeling, and always adding this and that to the house that he had already built many years ago.

My mom would gasp and say, “Now what is he doing?”

In his lifetime my dad must have pounded a gazillion nails.

He loved what he did.

He came home smelling of wood.

His face and arms looked like wood because they were covered with so much of the sweet wood dust.

Like the trees that gave him the wood that he used, my dad was always solid, proud, and rarely sad.

Except on holidays.

Then he had too much time to think about the past, and he would drink more beers than usual. 

Disagreeable and unpleasant memories came pouring out.

But it was mostly in the here and the now where he lived and worked.

So all of his pounding was the music of his soul, so to speak.

It was better to build than to destroy.

And the next life would reward him as well.

That’s what I think he believed.

He had the strongest hands of any man I knew.



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