Well I’m back after a two-week hiatus. It seemed that I had lost my muse, but I think she might have returned.
Off topic, I’d like to say first that it was a brutal weekend to be a Bearcat, Mizzou and Chiefs fan, but hope springs eternal. Too early in the season to be let down! At least nebraska and kansas lost (not capitalized for a reason, my flag has 48 stars).
Now to the lack of inspiration, and its miraculous return.
Over the weekend I undertook quite a few projects that have been sitting on the “honey-do” list for a long time.
There is truly something special in checking things off of a list. And it’s not just the “one less thing to do” aspect, it is the sense of pride and accomplishment.
Before the boy started kindergarten, a family friend gave our son an old school desk (thanks Fonda!). And by old, I mean old. This thing was probably already considered old when “duck and cover” drills were being practiced in classrooms during the cold war.
The great part is that it is still sturdy and still in really great shape. A tribute to the quality American-made products that used to grace our homes, schools and offices.
A refurbish wasn’t really even necessary, but we thought a new paint job on the metal and some stain would bring new life to it.
The boy helped, probably more than one would expect a five-year-old to in this type of work, and he was excited about it.
It came out really well, looks brand new, and it will provide a no-excuse zone for homework for years to come.
The cooperation from the little man was great, and so was his patience in waiting for the polyurethane to dry and keeping track of the screws during the reassembly process.
So even though I did most of the work myself, just having him around, giving him little tasks, is really something special.
And so is keeping and preserving treasures like old furniture. There is something to be said about having a piece of Americana that was already well cared-for and bringing new life to it.
As I sat in silence, sanding and re-sanding, staining, painting, putting on the polyurethane, I noticed that my muse had came back to town.
Maybe it's just the residual effects of paint fumes speaking, but the therapeutic value of restoring furniture, or building something with your hands is amazing - any hobby at all is simply refreshing.
The craftsmanship, done in solitude or with teamwork, gives a satisfaction that everyone should experience.
Page 2 of 2 - I realize that not everyone is cut out for the crafty type of work. Scraped knuckles, frustration from the missing screw or the piece that doesn't quite fit right can be a set-back.
But it brings you together, even if it only brings you together with yourself.
You have time to reflect, you have time to concentrate and not concentrate at the same moment.
So through that epiphany and the re-discovering of my muse, my son now has a pretty sweet place to practice writing his letters and numbers.
Watching him grow and learn is amazing.
I can only hope he learns the value of hard work and the satisfaction that comes with fixing something yourself instead of taking the easy route and buying a new desk that would probably be made in China by a kid that is younger than him.
And by the way, if I offended any kansas or nebraska fans - I am truly, deeply, from the bottom of my heart - not sorry at all.
Jesse Murphy is managing editor at the Maryville Daily Forum. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org