Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sawdust Tuesday

Missed out on blogging yesterday because I spent most of the day at Mum's place, excavating the garage. Well, excavating might be the wrong word but that place has been so neglected, so long that it calls for an extreme term.

We did amazing feats of creativity and handiness: moving the old kitchen bench out, and reinserting it the other way around. Patching a hole in the fibrolite wall. Sweeping the floor. All fairly normal things, but for Chronic Fatigue sufferers like my mum and I, and given the amount of time since that garage has received attention, it was a massive day.

Favourite moment of the day: when I was busy in the sun assembling the workbench/vice mum bought from Supa Cheap Autos months ago, and she was improvising a patch for the odd-shaped hole in the wall.

I don't know what it was but it was a wonderful moment. We were using our God-given skills, working with our hands, the weather was great, and around us were the memories - relics, even - of ancestors who had been similarly handy (probably much more handy!).

There was dad, whose space the garage was when he was still alive. Maybe that's one reason Mum hasn't really ventured into the garage. Don't know.

There was grandad - Mum's dad - who could make or fix just about anything. His "day job" was maintaining factory sewing machines, but into his 70s he was learning new skills, and loving it.

Granddad had built a food safe in the days before chilly bins for when the family went on holiday. By "safe" I don't mean there's a combination lock on it or anything - it was just a simple wooden box, painted green, with holes in the lid and wire netting.

That safe was still there in the garage, with its wire-netting door intact, although the hinges were gone and the wood was ready to crumble to powder. The safe lasted just long enough to carry a whole bunch of rotten wood and paper over to the rapidly growing compost pile. It sits there now, waiting for the elements to finish the powerful work they had already begun many years ago.

Sawdust Tuesday - a great day!


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