Thursday, October 20, 2011


If you've stumbled across this site you won't know that I lost my husband March 31, 2009.  Actually, I didn't just lose my husband, I lost my best friend.  I'd married my wonderful husband (let's just call him WH for now) when I was 20 years old, so I'd spent almost 39 years with him.  About 2/3's of my life!  We have three children and 5 grandchildren (so far).  They're wonderful, all of them, and I love to spend time with them.  But, they have their own space in my heart, and the space that Don filled is broken.

Most days I feel like I'm doing okay.  I wake up happy, I have a wonderful boss and coworkers I like.  My kids, as I've said, are wonderful and I see and talk with them often.  I have great friends that I've had for a lifetime, and I have some terrific new friends that have supported me in my changed life.  But, still, there is a huge, gaping hole in my life that I have to work on every day to fill!

My WH was a self taught cabinet maker.  He was scared to death of the dangers of power tools.  Drills and small power tools he would let others use, but he never let anyone use his table saw.  He'd seen my brother lose a couple of fingers while working in our cabinet shop and wanted to avoid that happening to anyone else.
As a consequence, he certainly didn't want me to use his equipment, and I never learned a thing!

But, about 6 months ago, I woke up one morning and just had to do something!  I picked up a book - reading has always been my salvation.  I sometimes read 2-3 books a week.  The book couldn't hold my attention!  I've always been able to hide away in books and that I couldn't do this now was really frightening.  I needed an escape.  Not only did I miss my husband terribly, but there were so many uncertainties in my life now that to dwell on those would make me crazy!  What to do??

I really felt like I was being pulled out to the garage.  I'd always wanted to be able to build things, like my WH and like my Dad and brothers before him.  Most of  my WH's tools were still in the garage. I'd even used the table saw right after his death (I think I did it to prove that I had control over something!).  Now, I had something tangible I could use to keep my mind and fingers busy.

I'd been shopping with my daughter for weeks to find a console/media table for her small living room.  We had not been successful finding anything that would work, and the prices were exorbitant!  I'd joked with her that I could probably build something for her, but hadn't really considered it.  Well that morning, I considered it.  I knew it was a project that would keep me busy, even if it didn't turn out well and I ended up trashing it.  In fact, when I finally told her I was building her a cabinet I told her just that:  If she didn't like it, I didn't care what they did with it.  If they thought it should be used for firewood, I'd help them light it up.

Since that day I have been working on various projects, most of them are posted here for you to see.  They're not great works of art, and they're not perfectly made.  But, they've been made with love and care (and lots of swearing!).  I'm really posting them for me to see.  I'm surprised each time I finish a project that it turned out anything like I'd planned!  I'm surprised that it functions like I'd planned!  I'm surprised that I've created something that looks pretty!  and I'm surprised that for the time I've been working on something I've been content and my mind is at peace.

I'm convinced that my WH is watching me - and laughing, and laughing, and laughing!  That's a good thought!


  1. What a great blog and a wonderful new hobby. Your stuff is beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm so excited to have found your blog. What a wonderful hobby you have. I was struck by the 'buildies' about two years ago, when we bought our house and finally moved out of a tiny condo that squashed any of my aspirations of woodworking.

    Anyway, I lost my father about 6 years ago. It sent me into a dark spot, and only after starting my build adventures have I been able to really start reigning in my grief. Your last two lines of your post really struck home for me. I feel the same way with my father, that he's there, watching and working with me.

  3. Julie,
    I'm happy you found me! It's sweet of you to leave a comment, and I'm so happy that you've found something you enjoy where your Dad can be with you! Woodworking has truly made the transition to my new "normal" life without Don somewhat bearable.
    Stop by again,


Thanks for commenting!