Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Lending a hand

You know how it is when you plan a surprise for someone and get that quivery-excited feeling about how they'll react when they find out? Don and I just did that.

Older Daughter, as you may know, has taken over our woodcraft business. Right now she's working on a massive (150-piece) order for a wholesale customer which must be shipped by late January to arrive in time. Because she also works four days a week (Tues-Fri) at a nearby store, she's been burning the candle at both ends. On days she's not working her other job, she puts in ten-hour days in the shop; and on days she IS working her other job, she comes home and puts in another hour in the shop on top of her retail workday.

By this past Monday, she had gotten to the point in the production run called "marking bottoms." This means each tankard's base outline had been traced onto a piece of half-inch oak, which later is cut out and then glued to the tankard as its bottom.

The next steps in the production run are as follows: Strip off the duct tape (used in the assembly process for tankard bodies), then cut the half-inch oak pieces of traced-out bottoms on the band saw, then sand the base of each tankard flat, then arrange the bottoms in stacks of numerical order (to find them more easily), then glue each tankard body to its corresponding bottom, secured with rubber bands until the glue dries.

With this being the start of her workweek at her other job, these steps alone would have probably taken Older Daughter until next Monday to accomplish. So ... Don and I decided to buckle down and do it for her, as a surprise.

Right after she left for work on Tuesday morning, we sprang into action. Even with both of us working, it took all day to accomplish these steps for the 150-piece order. We finished up literally half an hour before she was due home. I hastily cleaned the kitchen (we work at the kitchen table for these steps) to erase of the evidence of our industry while Don took Mr. Darcy for a late walk.

When Older Daughter arrived, she was tired, as always, and didn't notice the pile of neatly glued tankards sitting in the library. Instead she petted Mr. Darcy while she told us about her day.

Then I said we had a surprise for her: Look over there. It took a few moments for the significance of the sight to sink in, and then she was SO happy and grateful!

Yep, it was a fun surprise. Sometimes it's good to lend a hand.


  1. Doesn't it do your heart good when someone is trying so da*m hard to make it in life. Good on you and Don for jumping in and helping her.

  2. Yall are great parents. In the days ahead when she is able to get rested, it's going to be in the front of her mind from beginning to end of every day. And it instills in her the ability to give back in turn. Truly a gift that keeps on giving. Love.

  3. Sometimes it's good to lend a hand. But for me I always lend a hand XD that's the problem!

  4. How wonderful of you and Don to show your daughter that when people work hard other people notice, and then, are often times willing to lend a hand. I’m sure your daughter will “pay forward” this type of behavior because of your influence. What a wonderful y’all are! Happy New Year.

  5. You guys are awesome! As always, happy to read the updates. - Ron & Lisa down south, Orange Jeep Dad territory.

  6. I’m confused: I thought older daughter was supposed to be somewhere earning six figures taking care of rich peoples’ children.

    What’s with this living with her parents and working two jobs?