Posted in repurposed workbench, Uncategorized

Repurposed. Re-homed.

B0003787Once upon a time, a workbench lived in my father’s woodworking shop. It was an ordinary bench, extraordinary only because of the projects built on its surface. I’ve lost count of the number of things Dad made, but his grandchildren will never forget building their own little projects with Grandpa’s guidance. At first they built small boats to sail on the river running behind Grandpa and Grandma’s property. Then they graduated to wooden mallets, and small baseball bats, turned on the lathe. Always, there were small pieces of wood available to them — cutoffs from other projects — and a box of used nails they could help themselves to.

IMG_0015 17When many of the grandchildren were almost grown up, my parents decided to move. Condo living would free them from caring for their country property, but it would also mean the end of Grandpa’s shop. Tears were shed, but the downsizing happened and that meant much of what wouldn’t fit into their new home went to their family.

On Choosing Day, out of all the available “good stuff”, what did my son want to have? He chose Grandpa’s workbench and the box of old nails. His wife smiled and gave her approval. At first the work bench was used as a breakfast bar of sorts at the side of their kitchen, but when they moved to the States that workbench came to our house for storage.

The years passed, and Virginia became Scott and Sarah’s home, but that Canadian workbench was never far from their minds. Their much smaller kitchen wouldn’t accommodate it as it was, but a new idea gradually formed. In talking with my husband, himself a skilled carpenter, they decided to make the workbench into a table. Phone calls, pictures, and FaceTime-ing followed, and the results were nothing less than gorgeous.

IMG_7137

One fine May morning last year, the taken-apart table was carefully stowed in a trailer and we set off to deliver it to its new home.

IMG_7147

Scott and Sarah entertain often, just like Grandpa and Grandma always did. Their main wish in converting the workbench was to have each of their guests sign the table after sharing a meal in their home. My husband made a mechanism, attached beneath the table, that raises the glass to allow for signatures.

IMG_7144Their son’s autograph went on right away, but Grandma and Grandpa’s were already there. They had come to our workshop to see the finished product and Grandpa heartily approved

I like that this old workbench has stayed in the family. I like even more that it remains a symbol of my parents’ generous hospitality over the years. I love sitting at this old/new table whenever we visit …

 

MYOH5072… and I super-love that Nolan and I can have fun right beside it!

 

Posted in Birthdays, Uncategorized

On Turning Sixty.

So, I’m turning sixty. SIXTY! Sixty. 60. No matter how you slice it, I have six decades of living under my belt.

Up to this point, birthdays ending in “0” have never bothered me.

Ten? Almost a teenager. Groovy!

Twenty? No longer a teenager, thank goodness.

Thirty was okay. A gang of us used to go out for decadent desserts when someone reached that milestone.

Life was so busy around my fortieth birthday it passed without notice. I felt a million years old at that point, so forty was, like, pfft. Not even worth thinking about.

Fifty? Fifty heralded the best years of my life. I was old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyhow, with a bit more free time to carry things off.

Toes

Continue reading “On Turning Sixty.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Susie Homemaker’s Very Fine Day

IMG_3794I think I’m a reasonable shopper. I like a good deal as well as the next person, but I don’t mind paying for items of good quality. All too often though, my shopping list includes laundry detergent and the price of quality brands really bugs me.

Over the years I’ve made my own laundry soap from time to time, with very good cleaning results, but my efforts always petered out because I disliked finely grating the bar soap needed to make the granular recipe I’d been using. A little while ago, still steaming over the price of Tide, I drove home wondering why I couldn’t make laundry soap in liquid form. Continue reading “Susie Homemaker’s Very Fine Day”

Posted in cancer, Uncategorized

When Cancer Came

My story was first published at www.larrysbook.ca

When cancer comes to call, it is entirely unexpected. We have spent no anxious days wondering about a suspicious lump, and no sleepless nights waiting for test results. Except in hindsight, there isn’t a single suggestion of cancer’s imminent visit. No, on this raw January day, cancer broadsides our family when it causes my husband to have a seizure in the middle of a Lone Star Cafe where we’re eating lunch. In six hours flat we speed from fajitas and salsa in the suburbs, through two local hospitals, and on to a big downtown ER. There, we’re warehoused until we can see a neurosurgeon about the scary grey mass that shows up on a CT of Paul’s brain. Continue reading “When Cancer Came”

Posted in Uncategorized

A BAG OF RANDOM SKILLS

Today has been a really great day. One of the main reasons I’m enjoying it so much is because days like this seldom happen. For starters, I’m off work and it’s perfect fall weather. The sun is golden and warm breezes  blow through the open doors and windows of the house. It’s also a good day because I realized something important about plain old me.

I’m not extraordinarily well-educated, nor am I a world traveler, unless you count the many vacations I’ve enjoyed via friends’ Facebook photos. I’ve never done anything great or accomplished a monumental feat. Instead, what I am is a fairly down-to-earth collection of small abilities and random bits of knowledge and that’s okay. More than okay, actually, because these small, random, practical things come to my rescue on many occasions. Today was one such day. Continue reading “A BAG OF RANDOM SKILLS”

Posted in Uncategorized

I’m a Small Cog On a Big Wheel

ER-SignI’ve been reading a number of articles lately, written by grateful doctors about nurses who work in the Emergency Department. While I was reading them I pictured the busy ER where I work and I imagined my friends’ faces as they work hard, caring for patients and saving lives. Their collective knowledge and years of experience are vast and impressive and I admire and respect each of them.

After I finished reading these pieces, however, I started to wonder about something. The nurses are, quite rightly, heroes of any emergency department. They deserve all the kudos they receive. But what about the unsung folks toiling behind the scenes? What about the Unit Secretaries who keep it all happening? Continue reading “I’m a Small Cog On a Big Wheel”

Posted in Uncategorized

A Breakfast Adventure

We recently made the long drive from our home near Toronto, Ontario to visit our grandson in Virginia. We also went to see his parents.

Because we don’t get to spend a lot of time with almost-four-year-old Nolan, I try to make our short visits fun. One morning when he woke up he wasn’t ready for breakfast so I asked if he’d like to pack breakfast into his backpack and we’d go on an adventure. He thought that was a great idea, but only if he could bring his drill. Continue reading “A Breakfast Adventure”