Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let the Saw Do the Work

As I posted a comment on another blog this evening, I realized that my father often called me "Son," instead of calling me by my name. It seemed natural; still does. As I said to my blogger friend, whenever I see an old-fashioned brace and bit, I remember may dad teaching me how to use it. He taught me a lot about using tools, though I've probably forgotten the majority of what he taught me, since I don't use those tools very often.

I never even approached his level of skill on some of the simplest tools. I still can't make a 90-degree cut using a cross-cut saw. I remember him telling me how to use a saw, repeating to me over and over again, "Son, let the saw do the work." I tried to push harder and deeper to cut through the board, but it didn't work. But then he'd demonstrate to me how to use the saw and it appeared to me that he went through it like butter. "See? Let the saw do the work. Don't push down so hard, let the saw do the cutting for you, Son."

I wonder why he didn't call me by my name? I suspect it was because he didn't want to permanently scar me by running through the entire list of all my brothers' and sisters' names the way my mother did...and the way some of my siblings still do. Or, by the time he got to me, number six child, he'd simply gotten confused over which one was named what.


Anonymous said...

I think it was because you were the boy-child he had time to spend with, as you were "coming of age" when he was going into a semi-retired period of his life. He had more time with you to himself, with most of the rest of us scattered here and there, and knew you better than the rest of his kids. m

Ursula said...

Yeah, and wait and let the flowers open in spring too.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

That's lovely. Good advice, plus I love all things tool-related.