Thursday, May 26, 2016

Table For One

This first week of summer has been hectic for me. I've been finishing up our Honduras/Haiti project, getting the cabinets and counters in my apartment redone, and preparing for my mission to Vietnam. Tomorrow, I'm taking my car to get an estimate on gate-induced damage so I cleaned it out today. Tomorrow, I'm also getting my carpets washed so I'm moving stuff around and dusting tonight and dusting off some memories as well. Tonight's entry is about one of my two favorite pieces of furniture, the other being my mother's cedar chest. It is from July 27, 2009.

We still have a few things left to sort of Mom and Dad's property although it's getting down to the end. One thing I asked for when we were dividing their household items was a table Dad made when I was little. Carpentry is not a skill that jumps to mind when most people think of my father. (The same applies to me. The only D I ever received in school was in 8th grade wood shop; I mangled the attempt at constructing a small wooden pen holder.) But as I think back, Dad took on some major projects at our various addresses. He completely remodeled the basement of our last house in Nebraska and he built book cases into the walls of four homes. He engineered a cupola on top of our house in the country and he designed and constructed a patio from used brick at that same acreage. He was no Bob Vila but I guess Dad did have a decent portfolio!


I brought that table back from Wichita last week. It had been sitting in Dave's classroom since Dave and Scott had moved all the folks' furniture from St. Louis last year. To be honest, I don't know what kind of wood it's made from. As you can see above, it's round and inlaid with tile, forming a pattern of leaves. Dad must have been proud of that little table. He entered it in the Nebraska State Fair....and won a ribbon! But that's not why I wanted the table. You see, I was in kindergarten that year and Dad took me with him to display his creation. I can remember thinking I was in big trouble because you just weren't supposed to miss school for any reason! I don't know why my father chose me to go with him that day...but he did. It wasn't that big of a deal except that I recall it vividly to this day. Maybe he remembered taking me and maybe he didn't but a five year old boy never forgot. What do you think the table would fetch at a yard sale today? What is the value of an eternal memory or my father molding his child the way his father molded him? There were two patterns displayed that autumn day in Lincoln, Nebraska. One was made with tile; the other was a mosaic of love. I bet God gave my dad a ribbon, too.


Applicable quote of the day:
"Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood. "Gabriel Garcia Marquez


God bless,
Steve

Luke 18:1
www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail
me at steve@hawleybooks.com

2 comments:

Family fun said...

Steve,
I remember that table very well - your dad was very proud of that! That is the table they kept their book for everyone to sign when they came to their house.

Your entry tonight reminded me of a poem I read when I was in 7th grade for a competition. Actually I didn't read it because I was sure I would loose my place and mess up, so I memorized it. I thought of this because you asked what that table might be worth --- see if you understand why I think these two items correspond.


The Touch of the Master's Hand
by Myra Brooks Welch
It was battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
Hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three",
But, No,
From the room far back a grey haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."

And many a man with life out of tune,
All battered with bourbon and gin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Master's Hand.

It was battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
Hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three",
But, No,
From the room far back a grey haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."

And many a man with life out of tune,
All battered with bourbon and gin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Master's Hand.



(the wording on this one that i found on-line is a little different than the one i memorized and have on a plaque in our home but basically the same. i still get misty eyes and choked up when i read it!)

Family fun said...

btw - i forgot to mention that the spiritual meaning behind this is what has always been so touching to me! i just thought of it bc the worth of your dad's table to you is in the eye of the beholder! to you (and many others) that table is priceless!