Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Handy-Dad

We have no furniture.

We packed up all our cool stuff 7½ years ago, put it in storage in our basement, and rented out the house with our furniture in it. Two years ago we sold the house and got rid of the furniture: the bed, the table, the chair, the couch. It was old and tired and didn’t deserve the basement space it would take up.

So now we’re in a new house, filled with that same cool stuff – opening up the boxes, with the help of a certain Sweet Jennie, was like our wedding all over again – but, well, there’s no couch.

We’ve got little bits and pieces, here and there, that we’ve hung onto. And the weird thing is: they all seem to have been made by Dad.

Here’s the spool table that I got when I was a freshman in college, which Dad refinished for me:


Most kids have a raw spool sitting in their dorm room, or maybe one with a coat of paint slapped on. Not mine. Mine was sanded and stained and varnished and is still – 27 years later (gasp!) – perfect. I love it. It’s retro and cool and weird and I will always have it with me.

Here’s the clock Dad made for us in our last house:

Dad’s an awesome clock maker. Notice the stain and varnish? This is currently the only clock in our house. And it made it to Fort Davis and back, which is saying something.

Here’s the typing table Dad made for one of my sisters when she went to college:


We just stole this took this off Mom and Dad’s hands last week. And a good thing too because it’s one of our very few surfaces we have. And it matches our house perfectly.


That photo on the table is of Mistah Schleckah and our oldest niece. She’s graduating high school next week. So far it’s the only photo out on display. I love this photo. Look at Schleckah’s face. He’d never been around babies before in his life, and you can tell this little 4-month-old is completely an alien being to him. But he’s also intrigued. And you can tell he is just about starting to fall in love with the little munchkin. That moment? That very moment, is, as they say, the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Plus just look at those stinkin’ tootsie-toes peeking out under Mistah's arm. I mean really. Who could resist those tootsie-toes?? She’s gonna knock ‘em dead at Chapel Hill.

Here’s the stool. Dad makes these for all his grandkids. I recently asked him to make one for ME for my bday – having no kids I felt completely gypped out of getting all the cool stuff he makes for the wee ones. So he and Mom just gave me the one they had at their place.
It' a beautiful stool. It’s got dowels instead of nails showing.


See? In my book, that’s the work of a master craftsman.

Here’s another stool. Dad didn’t make it, but it came from Mom and Dad’s old house.

I love it because the rung is all chewed up by our dog.

I’m not sure if it was Yobo or Bogie, but she did a good job of it.

Here are the book display things Dad makes for Mistah, to, well, to display his books. I think Dad uses his scrap wood for them, and they make Mistah over the moon with happiness.

Here’s the book holder in action . . .

. . . with a book by Chuck Bowden.

Here’s a little soap holder Dad made for me years and years ago.


Is it warped and messed up with age? Whadda YOU think?

Here’s the beer opener Dad mass-produces for all his daughters.


If you’ve got one of these, you’re in.

All this stuff is a fraction of what Dad’s made and built and fixed and replaced and just made better wherever we’ve lived.

Wait until I get all those prints and photos that Dad framed for us unpacked . . .

And hey, where the hell is that paper towel holder Dad made for us?

Hmmm. This house has a total of two closets and no surfaces to put anything down. We could really use some shelves.

Dad? Can you come up and play??

5 comments:

Jacquie said...

It is a wise woman who butters up the handy-dad with compliments and accolades upon arrival in the empty house. Where is your earring tree? Loft bed? Elephant lamp?

Ellie said...

I got no stinkin' Ephe-lant lamp! No kids! Loft bed went to heaven with Bogie and Yobo. And my earring tree is so entirely dissed today!

beth said...

Beautiful craftmanship is right!And I'm so glad to be *in* (since I AM the proud owner of a Doc Corey [beer opener]).

scarletvirago said...

What is it about dads and wooden stools? There's a paint-splattered, much repaired, wobbly thing that he used to sit in while building Lego neighborhoods for me to play with all summer. I told him it better be in the will for me, or he's getting cremated.

Ellie said...

Oooooh. Harsh. Cremating a dead body. Just make sure that will is notarized before the aforementioned happens....