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You see it on TV and in the movies, but it’s one of those things that doesn’t happen to you. When it happened to me, it wasn’t what I expected.

More accurately it WAS what I expected, just not what I’d always hoped for. I got stuck in an elevator yesterday. Really. Got in, pushed the button, the car moved a few inches and suddenly went “clunk,” then wouldn’t move.

In the fantasy world I call my life, I always envisioned the elevator scenario in one of two ways: I’m stuck with an elderly millionaire who needs CPR, and although I’m a woodworker and not a doctor, I perform the maneuver to his undying gratitude and he gifts me with many, many dollars. In the other scenario I’m stuck with Christie Brinkley.

But this elevator contained five ordinary adults, one deodorant-challenged adult, a whining three-year-old, and lastly a gotta-be-the-life-of-the-party smart-mouth kid. Which I hate, of course, since that’s my job. After 25 minutes a maintenance man pried open the door and we hopped out. Not the pleasant experience I always thought it would be, but things don’t happen as you expect.

I never expected to like doing mortise-and-tenon joinery, either. I’ve never made very good dovetails, and I always expected my M&T joints to be the same. I had done a few over the years, but only grudgingly. Lately, though, I’ve done quite a few for the book I’m working on. Not only have they all turned out quite well, but I’ve found that I enjoy making them. I’m already thinking about doing some projects I avoided in the past simply because I didn’t want to mess with mortises and tenons. In fact, I’m now looking for projects specifically that feature it.

Not sure what the moral is here. Maybe that you shouldn’t form unrealistic expectations, either good ones or bad ones. Or maybe that you should just take learning experiences as they come, and make the best of them. Either way, you win.

Still, Christie Brinkley would have been nice.

Till next time,


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