Chance encounters


When you’re a woodworker, few things are cooler than running into another woodworker where you least expect it.

In my case, it was at the podiatrist’s office where my wife was having a pin adjusted in her broken-but-healing foot. The pin needed to be clipped, and Sally’s podiatrist called in a second doctor to lend a hand. He would hold the pin in some surgical tool (looked like pliers to me) while the other doctor cut.

As he explained what he was doing he told my wife that the surgical tool would hold the pin just like a clamp. To this, Sally said, “Well, you can’t have enough clamps.”

The doctor looked oddly at her and she explained that I’m a woodworker and I say that all the time, whereupon he looked at me said that when he’s not cutting pins in people’s feet that he’s a woodworker, too. This immediately set off a discussion between the two of us about the kinds of woodworking we do, how he was lucky enough to recently score a couple hundred board feet of chestnut, a cherry desk I built last year (which I just happened to have pictures of on my phone), new tools we’d gotten and so on.

Somewhere during all of this the pin was taken care of, the stiches removed, and new wrappings put on Sally’s foot. I say “somewhere during all of this” because all I remember about that five- or 10-minute stretch was talking woodworking.

The downside of the doctor visit was that Sally has to keep the pin in place for two more weeks. The upside is that when I take her back for that appointment, I’ll probably get to talk woodworking again.

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