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Good timing

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Timing can be a strange and wonderful thing. Because of good timing this weekend, I got a nice shot in the arm for my woodworking ego.

I’ve talked before about the important of the occasional ego boost. Without it happening from time to time, we sometimes wonder what others really think of our work. With it, though, you nearly always get a surge of adrenaline to race back to the shop to create more. But the timing has to be right.

As Jimmy Jones noted back in 1960, you need timing, good timing. (Or, more accurately, “Good Timin’.”) That’s exactly what I had this weekend when my wife and I enjoyed an outing on a gorgeous fall day. We were strolling through a small artsy-craftsy village with quaint little shops and dropped into the one that sells some of my work. They don’t have a lot of my stuff, just a few of my fancy birdhouses, and with birdhouse season being over several months ago I had no reason to expect that he’d sold any recently. But we really like the shop and always enjoy seeing what new things he has, so we walked in.

The first thing we hear upon entering the store is the proprietor. “Well, this is a coincidence,” he says to a customer while pointing in my direction. “Here’s the gentleman who made that right here.” Turns out the customer was buying not one, but two of my houses. We chatted for several minutes, and I thanked him for buying my houses, allowing my typically inflated ego to inflate further as he and his wife complimented me on my work. After a few minutes I thanked him again, then they went their way and we went ours.

Now think about the timing of this for a moment. The shop hadn’t sold one of my birdhouses since last spring, now several months past. Sally and I hadn’t strolled those shops in several months as well. Those customers were in the shop for only 10 minutes on a lazy Sunday afternoon. What are the odds that we’d not only choose that exact day to walk the village, but go into that one particular shop during that single 10-minute window for this to happen? I can’t possibly calculate those odds, and I’d be hard-pressed to think of anything that could be stranger.

Well, the proprietor referring to me as a “gentleman” might qualify.



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