Tools of life

It was a few years ago that my father retired. He did a lot of work with hand tools and power tools. He asked me if I would like any of his tools as he was giving it all up. Very decisively I replied “yes! I’ll take any that you are willing to give to me” because … well, I worked with him when I was young and learned the cathartic joys of building things. He happily came to visit with a truck loaded full of tools. These were not heavy duty industrial grade tools, but they are very useful for projects even bigger than any I’ve plans for. The Bosch jig saw is an awesome bit of engineering. Hammer drills and table saws never go amiss. The list of tools was long, and every one appreciated.

Today I was thinking about how I had managed now to use, with vigor, each of the tools that he gave me. Ripping wood to meet your needs with 10 inches of table saw powered carbon tipped blade is just awesome… every time I do it. It really is satisfying to ‘manufacture’ stuff, to see it in it’s place in your project, and to every now and then look up and think ‘wow, that came out looking nice. It makes me happy to have done some work that good.’

I was marveling about things like that today and a few thoughts crossed my mind. First, it was first class awesome that my father gave me these tools. Second, I’m not fully a neo renaissance man in the inspired views of Heinlein, but I come pretty close at times or at least I think I do. That number two point sparked a few other things. One is that my father taught me how to use these tools that he gave me. His patience and skill is how I learned this. Of course I get some credit too, but I can’t take all of it. Not only that but he gave me the skills to both doubt myself and others and the skill to analyze what is going on. I’ve not always done the most I can with such skills, but he passed them to me or helped to make them sharper. When my wife said she wants built-in cabinets I did not say I could not do it. I said I could. It’s not the kind of thing that I do regularly, but I was certain I could do it. Sure enough it took a bit of time remembering and figuring things out, but I got the first one done and took about a week of spare time to finish the second one (both sans doors at this point).  Just the same they have paint on and are well on the way to completion.

At some point in all this I did some math. I inherited some capabilities. Some were taught to me. My father gave me tools. I bought some wood and created some decent looking cabinets. Absolutely nothing in this entire decades long chain of events was supernatural. Not at any juncture did any ‘blessing’ give me anything. With the help of my family and a natural curiosity I have retained, gained, and improved skill sets that are useful. I really am one of the smartest apes on this planet. Not the smartest or even close to the top, but I belong to that group which all those do belong to also. I am one of them. It’s good to be human. It is good to know in some small way I have built something on the face of this planet that proves we are here. It may not last long, but I’ve built something that shows we apes are changing the face of the planet. I am proud to be part of a group which has done so very much.

  1. The family is the blessing.

    • I had no choice in what family I was born into, so I was fortunate. Blessed infers some divine intervention. I don’t believe that it is so. My dogs are fortunate. They are rescue dogs, and it was not divine intervention that allows them the good life they enjoy today – it is because a human made a choice to exercise compassion and empathy and do something good. Such good deeds happen all the time and far too often we see it as divine intervention. It’s not. We deserve much more credit than we give ourselves.

      • Why does a blessing have to come from “Divine Intervention”? Why can’t ‘fortunate’ and ‘blessing’ be used in the same manner. Am I fortunate to have met you? Or is it okay for me to consider you to be a blessing in my life? Did God send you to me or is the blessing the person you are and how that person affects me?

        • The definition of the word:
          1- God’s favor and protection.
          2- A prayer asking for such favor and protection.

          • Smart ass.

            • LOLOLOL

              • 🙂

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