Growing up he was known on our little dead-end street as “The Guy Who Can Fix Anything.” And he could! Cars, toys, appliances, furniture, and just about any electronic you can think of. He was also amazingly handy with almost any tool when it came to woodworking. I remember he and I once took a trip to a hobby store and I fell in love with the miniature dollhouse decorations. My Papa Bear jumped right on it and built me the most amazing 3-story dollhouse – giant rooms, a hinged roof, a sturdy staircase. We were getting ready to wire it for electricity when for some dumb reason I sold the dollhouse at a yard sale for $30. Yes, I am STILL kicking myself in the tushie for that. In fact, I just gave myself another swift one just thinking about it.
While my dad has always been pretty handy with his tools & some wood, it seems that over the last few years he’s really been getting into woodworking more. And for the most part, everything he’s built has been a special request from either myself or my mom. All we’ve had to do is have an idea of what we’d like (a photo helps) and the dimensions we are hoping for, and off he goes! So far for me he’s built a big book stand for my classroom, a toybox for each of my beauties and a new nightstand for Emily’s Big-Girl room upgrade earlier in June.
At my parents’ house it seems that every room has something in it hand-built by my Papa. An end table here, some bookshelves there. Each piece is unique and beautiful, and knowing how much time and talent was put into them all is in my opinion, astounding. One of my favorite items he’s built is the chessboard he made as a gift for my brother – I can’t even begin to imagine what something of that quality would cost in a store. (He didn’t carve the pedestal and the claw feet of the chess table or the legs of the dining table – while he’s great with woodworking he wanted those particular styles and felt that they were too complex for him to make).
I love knowing that my girls are going to have something hand-made by their Granddaddy that they can pass down to their own children one day. Now I just need to figure out what to ask him to build next for me!