Sunday, May 2, 2010

Something Amazing

One of the things I like most about the condo we live in is all the opportunities we have to do things we like to do. There's an exercise/fitness room where I go to use machines like a treadmill or a stationary bicycle, or a machine to toughen up my abs. I go there while I wait for the mail to be delivered each morning. There's a wonderful kitchen where one of the ladies bakes cookies. There's no way to hide the smell of fresh cookies so I provide an element of assistance to the residents by following my nose to perform quality control of the cookies. (I was pastoral "quality control manager" at a church one time when they made peanut brittle and would not sell any until I had put my stanp of approval on the latest batch.) (Is that what opened my life door to diabetes?) This week I have to go to the computer room to edit and make a dvd or cd of a video I took last week. There is a theater - complete with surround sound - where we show movies from time to time. There is a library where I help with sorting and stacking a good size variety of reading material. And there's a arts and crafts room as well. (The ladies are making a quilt.)

One of my favorite places is the men's workshop complete with all kinds of power tools and workspace. The picture above came out of the workshop and I never cease to marvel at some of the things Howard Hatch comes up with. It's really hard to sense the size of the cross - probably not more than two feet tall. In it is cut
an abbreviated life of Christ from birth to ascension. He uses tiny drills and saw blades that hardly seem larger than a medium embroidery needle. I'm sure you'll agree with me that Howard has a profound gift. I asked him if he'd make one for me but he said I'd have to wait in line until he does a couple more for their children. At the moment he's not working on crosses - he just finished a combination lock - made out of wood - even to the tumblers in the lock.

One of the tragedies of life is when people retire and then have no idea or interest in creating something. Maybe creating a hole-in-one or breaking a hundred on the golf course would be great. But what I like about Howard's projects is that when he finishes one it's a tangible thing to look at and treasure for a long time to come.
For me it may be video, or art, or writing, or crewel. And the best part is that when one thing is done there's another project down the road. For instance, Howard showed me a whole series of wooden locks he'll be making in the immediate future. People like Howard give the inspiration to do more than just sit around - and that's a good thing.

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