I went to see my dad yesterday morning. We sat on his back porch drinking
coffee before the sun came up. I was telling him about the projects I had
going and the new tools I had acquired. After we visited, he took me out to
his garage and led me to his old carpenter's box. He opened it up and
inside it was all of his old tools. Hand saws, planes, yankee screwdrivers,
chisels, scribes, brace bit, etc. Tools I remembered from my youth. Tools
his dad had given him. Beside it was his old Stanley miter saw guide with
back saw. I cut my first miter with that saw. He bent down and picked up a
scribe and told me how he had gotten it out of his father's garage after he
died. He'd pick up another tool and tell me when he got that one. There's
a story behind every one and memories that cross generations.
Then he did something that made me get all choked up. He told me I could
have them now. He's 70 and eaten up with arthritis to the point he can't
do much anymore. Just a few minutes ago he was telling me how he'd like to
redo the cabinets in the kitchen for my mom. Now he's offering me his
tools. I didn't know what to say. When I told him he needs to hang on to
them if he was going to redo the cabinets I thought I was saying the right
thing. But I could tell by the look in his eyes that was a project he'd
never get around to doing and he knows it. It breaks my heart. I can do
his cabinets for him which he'll enjoy and I can even let him help me but
the fact is he knows he can't anymore.
With Thanksgiving around the corner I hope you can look back like I can and
be thankful for your father, the times shared and lessons learned... and the
"If you are arrogant, who's going to care if you're the best?"
The same look my Dad's eye would be saying "Hell, I just gave him my tools,
told him there was a job to be done, and now he's asking how "I" will do the
job without my tools??"
Get on with the job and enjoy working with your Dad.
Last time I visited my father (he lives in Scotland - I live in New
Zealand) he gave me an assortment of his tools. Also a wooden tray
passed down from his great-grandfather and used (now for three
generations) as _the_ place to store odd-sized nuts and bolts. Dad is
now blind and the moment had considerable poignancy.
Imagine the fun I had at airports on the way home with an assortment of
scribing knives, gents saws and an anciant bevel in my luggage. Not only
heavy - but interesting on the security x-ray and I spent a lot of time
"Any PC built after 1985 has the storage capacity to house an evil spirit,"
Reverend Jim Peasboro
You're now allowed nail clippers - Dan Quayle was stopped with a pair,
and it was less embarrassing to change the rules afterwards.
Last time I flew back from the US, I was carrying an entire Lee
Valley order. It was cheaper to have it shipped to my hotel than
straight to the UK 8-)
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Man i wish i had that orportunity My dad was 48 when cancer got him I was
only 20, I am 60 now and when i read a story like you just wrote it brings
tears to my eyes.
Don't miss this oportunity let your Dad know you will do the cabinets but
will need his help to get them done right.
I'll bet he can still teach you a thing aor two in the process.
My Father has been gone for quite a while, unfortunately most of his tools
were stolen from me when someone stole my truck years back. I have a few
pieces still and some of my Grandfathers as well. So cherish what he passes
on to you.
My Father in Law lives next door to us, and there is nothing he enjoys more
than feeling needed/useful. So do the job that is expected, with humility
and under the tutelage and guiding hand of a proud Father.
I know I have had to swallow my words and opinions more than once to
maintain whatever feelings he has for our relationship. Then when the chance
comes do the correct thing, but remember he very well might be right all
My father was an executive in the American Red Cross. He was the
first person in his family to go to college and in fact he completed
But he never felt that working with his hands was beneath him. One of
my earliest scars is on my ankle. I was playing on a pile of bricks
at 3 years old where he was laying a brick patio. The little bastard
broke under my weight and the subsequent fall skinned my ankle bone
clean to the bone.
When I was little, Dad and I built fences, doghouses, barbeque pits,
finished sheetrock, installed drains . . .
Dad was never willing to hire a contractor if he could see his way
clear to how a job ought to be done. Of course, it always took longer
than we thought it would and cost more than we anticipated, but was
the years pass, you get used to that and can plan for it.
Then came that fateful day. I was in college, and Dad had waited on
me to get home before installing a window air conditioner. He didn't
think he could lift it by himself.
I almost went into shock.
Dad. Dad. Waited. On. Me.
Dad never waited on me. Ever.
It's been downhill ever since.
He doesn't breath well any more. His stamina is poor.
He's seventy this year. He's developed adult aquired diabetes, and
survived an arterial bypass. He's already outlived his father and
grandfather, but I think we both know that he's fading.
You know, I never thought that Dad was around much when I was a kid.
It seemed like he was always either away on a business trip or working
late at the office.
But today, when one of my friends asks me "where did you learn to do
THAT?" I answer, "Father teach, long time ago."
On 28 Nov 2003 13:34:42 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Bill McNutt) wrote:
hi bill. i worked for the red cross back in 72 during the agnes flood
in corning n.y. i seem to recall your name but cant place it with a
face. seems he would be in his 50's or 60's now. would this maybe be
the same mcnutt? just curious. skeez
Possibly, but not likely. We left Alabama around 72 and spent three
years in Boston. Then down to Charleston.
It would have been Bill McNutt. He didn't go by Senior. He was the
general manager of the Tuskaloosa Chapter. Then an Assistant in
Boston, and then GM again in Charleston.
On 28 Nov 2003 21:23:17 -0800, email@example.com (Bill McNutt) wrote:
thanks for the reply. i didnt figure it would be but ya never know. i
also served in the navy with a petty oficer by the same name in 75 or
76 in the south pacific but the dates dont work out. must be a common
I know exactly how you feel .When they put my father in a "home" all
the tools came to me because of all the brothers (7 ea) I was the
only one that did any woodworking. I use his tools many times. He had
an old Stanley plane that I still haven't figured out yet and have
tried it several times over the years. I imagine you will offer to do
the cabinets. If you are lucky he will want to participate. Count your
time left with him as "bonus" time.
Ken in NS
Yep, nothing but the best tools there. I had some of his tools for
quite some time. When he passed away 2+ years ago, I got the rest. My
brother was never much of a handy man so he passed them to me. I also
have a plane of his that I haven't cleaned up yet as well as one from my
FIL who passed away before I met my wife. Maybe this winter I will
clean them up. The screwdrivers, chisels, hammers, hand saws... All
work better because of their history.
Has your father seen a arthritus specialist? I don't want to sound like a back
seat driver, but a good rheumetologist (spelling) might be able to do him some
I am also in the same circumstance, but my father passed away 4 years ago.
His tools are more mechanics related. My mother and he always told my sister
that she would get Moms jewelry, and me his tools. Mom put it in her will.
There is an old pipe vise that he bought while I was with him at a garage sale,
and I told him I would buy it if he didn't, and he said it would be mine some
day anyway! These are what memories are made of!
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