Tak­ing Mea­sure

WOOD - - IN THIS ISSUE OF WOOD - Dave Camp­bell dave.camp­[email protected]­ith.com Face­book and Twit­ter: @WOODed­i­tor

Never stop learn­ing.

Last May, our son Colby did some­thing that no one in my fam­ily had ever done: He earned his Mas­ter’s de­gree, of­fi­cially in “postse­condary ed­u­ca­tion: stu­dent af­fairs.” Ba­si­cally it means that, af­ter spend­ing seven years in col­lege, his ca­reer will be spent... well... work­ing at a col­lege. Hon­estly, An­nette and I couldn’t be more proud.

Be­fore he grad­u­ated, Colby gifted me with this ham­mer, into which he’d wood­burned his grat­i­tude. (An­nette re­ceived a sim­i­larly adorned flower pot with his thanks “for help­ing me grow.”) The ham­mer hangs by my of­fice door as a daily re­minder that we al­ways need to build—and grow—our skills, re­gard­less of how much we know, or how much we think we know; and re­gard­less of our age.

The point was ham­mered home at our an­nual Week­end With WOODTM con­fer­ence just two weeks af­ter Colby earned his hood. I saw se­ri­ously skilled se­nior wood­work­ers scrib­bling notes as they learned a re­fine­ment on a fin­ish­ing method. And I watched just as many doe-eyed “up-and­com­ers” deeply drink­ing in ev­ery­thing they could learn about tun­ing—and safely us­ing—their hand-me-down tools. Sev­eral peo­ple told me they couldn’t wait to rush home and put their learn­ings into prac­tice.

They didn’t have to wait that long, as more than 200 at­ten­dees built a truck­load of urns for in­di­gent vet­er­ans at Omaha (Ne­braska) Na­tional Ceme­tery as part of our an­nual Week­end With WOOD Char­ity Build. The do­na­tion of time and tal­ent (and tools and ma­te­ri­als, in the case of Ry­obi, Ridgid, and Wood­work­ers Source, who gra­ciously pro­vided all we needed for the build) re­in­forced what I’ve al­ways be­lieved: that wood­work­ers are the most gen­er­ous and giv­ing folks around.

Speak­ing of giv­ing, Colby’s ham­mer con­firmed that a gift from your hands is a gift from your heart. It doesn’t have to be fancy; it doesn’t have to be per­fect. It just has to be from you. Be­ing on the re­ceiv­ing end was a strong re­minder to give even more hand­made gifts this year. And Christ­mas is right around the cor­ner...

See you in the shop.

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