There are so many ways that I was affected and inspired by my grandpa. One thing that I enjoy that I know is all about him is my love for products and trinkets made of wood. My grandpa loved to work with wood, and although he was always self-deprecating and often called his work “junk”…our whole family loved his creations and we all have multiple gifts from him still decorating our shelves and homes. From dressers and aquarium stands to pens, tops and cups of all shapes and sizes he loved to tinker and create these pieces of art from all different types of wood. My eye is drawn to wood-crafted decorations and utensils wherever I go, especially if they remind me of pieces that I think fit my grandpa’s style.
Recently I’ve noticed my own passion and enjoyment forming around creating things out of pieces of wood. I wrote just about a year ago about creating an awesome birdhouse with my father-in-law and my son, which I thoroughly enjoyed and was so impressed to see the skills that my son showed while we were working on that together. Then later, my wife and I created a triangle shelf to hold oils and add some new flair to our bathroom wall. Just the other day our whole family put the finishing touches on my son’s new ‘I’ shelf to hold up special Lego’s on his bedroom wall.
Each time we’ve completed a project I’ve felt this sense of accomplishment and enjoyment that I don’t really feel from other achievements. And it’s definitely not because these are incredibly pristine works of art. You don’t have to look too closely at our creations to find the “quirks” in them. However, I kind of enjoy those too, which is a bit strange for me. You see I’m someone with a very logical “black and white” type of brain, yet with these projects I seem to find the most enjoyment when I’m just going for it, measuring only once (or maybe not at all!), and creating something that looks good and works without following any type of direction or protocol (besides being sturdy enough to support the weight of the objects I plan to place on it!)
While I’m quite sure I’ll never be at my grandpa’s level as far as making these treasures, it does feel good to have developed a love for something that was clearly so important to him. This is made even better by the fact that I get to work on these projects with my favorite people and pass on some important skills to my little ones. It’s really nice to have this new way of connecting with a man that I miss and always considered one of my heroes.
This is fatherhood…