My Workbench


The last snow is gone from the ditches, a green haze forms a halo in the trees and across the road, a colony of lilies have sent forth a few brave scouts, just to have a look around.

It might be spring.

Which means the projects that have waited patiently all winter on my workbench must now be addressed.  To prioritize, I classified them into the following categories:

Things I must get to, without exception

This category is further divided by the year during which each project must have been gotten to.

Things assigned by nature

In a drawer under my workbench, there is a notebook that chronicles all of Mother Nature’s misdeeds around the place.  I give her credit.  She works harder and faster than I do and all without power tools. She can rust, degrade, disassemble and deteriorate faster than I can keep up.

My list includes the toppled chimney on the milk house, the missing shingles from the garage roof, the sun-scoured door on the potting shed and countless invasions of hornets and gophers.

She took her sweet time creating this havoc, I only ask that she respect the sweet time it takes for me to address them.

Things assigned by spouse

Despite the melted snow, the swelling buds and the foolhardy lilies, spring officially begins after my wife visits the Home and Garden Center in town.

Once she has done that, the entire inventory of the gardening center migrates into my shed from where it must be lugged, shoveled, planted and mulched – until a late season snow restarts the process all over again.

Things that are great ideas

I always wanted to restore an old truck. Specifically a 1952 International Harvester pickup like the one I drove for awhile after college.

Other guys have old trucks. Why (other than gobs of money) do I not have one?

This year, I put my foot down.

I told my wife, “I’m going to buy and restore a 52′ International pickup.”

“Fine,” she said, “but first clear enough space in the shed to park it.”

[Note: all entries in this category shift to the next]

Things I wanted to do but don’t want to do anymore.

“90% of the stuff out there is yours,” I tell her.

She shakes her head no.

“Why not?”

“Because what you call my stuff is really all the things you promised to do for me.”

“So before I do what I want to do, I must do all the things you want me to do?”

She shakes her head yes.

[Note: all entries in this category shift back to the first]


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