Ruminations

Professionally, I am a dentist. But moreover, I have always thought of myself as a woodworker. My father was a carpenter and a very good one at that. He instilled a love of all things wood in me from a very young age. I love taking a raw, rough piece of lumber and turning it into something beautiful, a fine piece of furniture for example. This seems magical to me. I have made a lingerie chest for my wife, two Morris chairs and a bookcase for my youngest, a dining table for my eldest, another for my sister-in-law, and many, many other pieces for other family and friends. If any of you have any interest in seeing examples of some projects I have completed over the past few years, they can be seen on my Pinterest page in a folder called Completed Projects. And therein lies my latest adventure with DLB.

I recently found a plan for a dining table in one of my woodworking magazines that I really liked. I thought, man, how much fun would that be to make. So I ordered the plan. But in the back of my mind I was chastising myself for wasting the money. Over the past year, my skills have seriously deteriorated as the dementia has progressed so I doubted my ability to complete this complex project. Besides, I had no need for this table nor knew anyone that needed it. Yet, I persisted.

The plan soon came and I was immersed in the project. I found I was spending much more time trying to understand how to do familiar tasks than actually working on the table. Cutting a complex joint, normally a 5 minute task, is now taking me 45 minutes. And so goes the entire project.

As I sat looking at the nearly completed table this morning, I started thinking back to the time of my father's passing. Not only did I remember the loss of a remarkable man, a friend, and an awesome father, but I remembered an overwhelming thought. I was saddened at the tremendous amount of knowledge that had just been lost and would never be recovered. He had done an amazing job of sharing that knowledge with my brother and me but there was no way we could absorb all he had to offer.

As I continued to study my new creation, it dawned on me why the melancholy had set in and I was thinking of all this. Subconsciously I had been thinking this is probably going to be my last big project. And I realized that was what was bothering me. My end is drawing near. I don't dread that but it dawned on me that it saddens me that what knowledge my father passed to me will then be irrevocably lost. Much of it already is. And I have had no one show a true interest to whom I could pass a majority of that knowledge. It will just be gone. The end of a long line of the love of wood. And it saddens me. But as with all things concerned with DLB this will soon pass as well.

4 Replies

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  • Very poignant post, Poppygail. It is indeed sad that there is no one with whom you could share this love of wood. I am interested in your completed projects and look forward to viewing them on Pinterest. Thank you for this post.

  • Randy,

    While your woodworking talents might not be passed on, your deeply informative insights on your journey that you have shared with us will remain forever.

    That in itself is an invaluable contribution to this community, and society as a whole.

    All the best, Christian

  • I don't think it will be the end of the love of wood in your family. Your children, and their children, will have your crafted furniture in front of them daily, and the seed you have planted will grow. You may not see it in your lifetime, but there will be people in your family who will inherit this love, and continue working with wood, remembering you as they do so.

  • Gervan,

    I truly hope you are correct. I know you're right about the first part. They love receiving pieces that I have built, most of their households are furnished in that manner. They just haven't expressed any desire to learn the craft themselves. And now that I'm a day or so removed from my self indulgence, I'm feeling better about it. Thanks for your response.

    Randy