Our parents were right

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Something must be wrong with me.

It’s been a busy week, and I’ve been on the computer all day, every day. So today I just felt like getting out of the house. I would have liked to do a short hike, but it’s still freezing here, plus any trail likely not to have snow on it would be a sea of mud. Yeah, I suppose I could go walk back and forth from one end of the mall to the other, but I’m too old to do that like the teenagers do (plus, I can’t walk and talk on a cell phone at the same time), and I’m too young to dodge the old people who consider the mall to be their personal track.

So I figured I’d head to the bank, do some grocery shopping, get a couple bags of salt for the water softener and as a final treat for all this errand running, go to one of my local big-box home improvement stores and buy myself a toy or two for the shop.

With bank slips in my pocket, groceries in the trunk and two bags of salt on the back seat, I head to the nearest big-box store. I didn’t even care if it was the blue one or the orange one. I parked. I went inside. I shopped. Then shopped some more.

An hour later I was back in my car, sitting there empty-handed. I can’t believe it. There was nothing I wanted. There was nothing I needed. There wasn’t even anything I could pretend I needed just to get my shop-related shopping fix. I just didn’t want any more, and I was pushing my figurative woodworking plate away.

This has never happened to me before. Is my woodworking life over? Do I truly own every tool I need? Is my shop really complete? Do I finally have enough clamps?

And as I think of my apparently well-stocked shop, imagining that I must indeed have so much stuff, so many tools, and so complete a wood rack that I can refuse having more on my plate, I remember what my parents always told me when I was a kid: “Don’t turn your nose up at that 60-grit sandpaper in front of you young man! Somewhere in China there are children who have no sandpaper, no tools, no plywood and no #6 x 1-1/4” coarse-thread screws!”

And so now, as then, I did my duty. Knowing that the children of China were depending on me, I sat up straight in my seat, got out of the car, and went in and bought an extra helping of clamps.

Till next time,

A.J.

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