My dad was a carpenter with a designer’s eye. Or a designer with woodworking skills. Either way he made his mark on many a house during his long life. In some cases, that mark was the slight curved indentations of a saw blade on trim boards that were never finish sanded, or a bathroom wall that never saw anything beyond a coat of primer.
He would sit at the kitchen table and review his small spiral notebook filled with pages of lists and things to be done, carefully checked off or if not, moved to the next day’s list. He would pick and choose what to do first, often times selecting those tasks that were easy, mindless. Go to the bank. Pick up pencils at the drug store. He was a writer from whom I inherited the tendency to procrastinate by preparing properly. Make sure there is plenty of the right type of paper, that the pencils are sharpened and the dictionary is close at hand. And he will need a drink of water. Perhaps a snack for later. Indeed the crumbs from yesterday’s snacks are all over the floor. Perhaps he should vacuum before he starts writing, to ensure there are no interruptions.
But in those few moments that he did finally sit down to write, or sketch, or pick up a hammer and swing it, he was able to create some magical marks. His final house, where my mother now presides solo, boasts an elegant Russian style chimney that is wide at the base but angles in its climb to the roof line and beyond. The rounded cap sits atop like a handle. My uncle’s house watches the Atlantic currents through a classic Terry window. The sunsets filling the offset windows that secretly spell out “T” for Terry. A quiet statement saying I made this. This is a gift from my creative spirit. You can see the view above….
Thank you daddy. I miss you.