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I’m not sentimental about anniversaries, but this Thanksgiving week – and on the occasion of my 800th Woodshop News blog – I suppose there’s an exception to everything.

The last time I hung a ceiling was 30 years ago. I have no idea the actual date but it was sometime in 1987. Or maybe 1986. I’d hardly call that an anniversary, but it does call for a couple observances.

My first observation is that hanging a ceiling was a hell of a lot easier 30 years ago than now. The ceiling I just finished was simple acoustical tile, the kind mounted to furring strips nailed to ceiling joists. I don’t remember any adverse effects when I did it three decades ago, but this time I hurt all over. My neck is killing me, my back hurts, and my arms are sore from doing so much work overhead.

The last time I did this, my folks were visiting and the three of us did that ceiling together, as opposed to me doing it alone this time. I’m also 30 years older; in fact, I’m older now than my parents were then.

But with this being Thanksgiving week, I suppose my other observation is that I’m thankful that 30 years later I’m perfectly capable of completing a workshop task like that entirely by myself, albeit accompanied by some annoying aches and pains. I never really gave much thought back then about what I’d be doing 30 years later; I certainly never guessed that the next time I installed a ceiling that I’d be in an entirely different career, and would have moved to another state – twice.

In looking at the more recent past – about a decade ago – I also never thought I’d be typing “800” at the top of a blog, but there it is. I guess the important thing about milestones and anniversaries, whether 30 years or 800 blogs, is being around to see them happen. And I’m thankful for that.

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