As a little girl one of my favorite things to do was to sit on my dad’s workbench while he created things in the garage. He was a renaissance man – he could wire a house, fix a leaky toilet, get your car running and make you the best ribs of your entire life. He built a house from the ground up by himself, with occasional help from friends, on nights and weekends after working his full time job.
It’s these times on the workbench that I loved with him the most. The smell of sawdust and faint lingering of cigarette smoke hung in the air as I watched and asked questions. Part of my affection for this time MAY have been that there were always M & M’s in the garage with him as well, and I’ve never been a girl to turn down chocolate.
Fast forward a few decades and my dad is physically no longer here – but I keep finding pieces of him in me. It’s been one of the sweetest parts of healing from his death – the ways that I am like him that keep surprising me. When my dad died my sister and I each chose to take a few of his things home with us – one of them being a Miter Saw. It sat idly in the garage for a few years until we braved a home project that required more than paint.
When we moved into our house the master bedroom got designated to the bottom of the to-do list. There were much more pressing issues, like the electric blue walls and the basement that looked like the scene of a horror film (not kidding). But this Fall, after our anniversary plans got cancelled, we thought that sprucing up our space – on a budget – would be the perfect way to have a belated anniversary celebration. Love hath no expression like that of a DIY project right?
We switched the paint from a hideous brown to a light and airy shade from Sherwin Williams called Silver Strand. That alone changed the entire tone of the room! Then we started in on the shiplap wall, and gave it a good two coats of Dover White so the spaces between the shiplap boards wouldn’t be brown. After that, we took a deep breath and started nailing planks to the wall. We also spruced up our metal head and footboard with flat black spray paint (fancy, right?) and added a simple frame and wreath to the wall. It is fresh and clean and I love being in this space in our home every day!
I don’t have the skill or the finesse that my dad did with his tools. That came from hours of labor and endless jobs that demanded precision and perfection. But, I am learning. I am learning to measure twice and cut once. I am learning that perhaps Geometry was a little more important than I gave it credit for as a Sophomore in high school. And most of all, I’m really enjoying the smell of the sawdust and the memories it is bringing back.