My grandfather died yesterday.
My whole family is full of crafty and artistic people, but I feel like each of us has our own speciality. My grandfather was wonderful with woodworking. He made my sister and I cradles for our dolls, he made a rocking horse for me, a pouting chair for my sister, a pie safe for my mother, hand-carved spoons for everyone. He took an old broken hope chest I found and restored it to better than brand new. I learned a lot from watching him in his basement workshop.
One Christmas I went over and asked if we could make wooden figurines of Santa together. He cut the wood blocks, taught me how to use an engraver, and then I painted them while he puttered around. Most of the men in my family are all very talented with cutting and building, but Pappy was the master craftsman.
He definitely passed down his love of building things to me. I was able to build a custom deck for the Fenway Park bleacher seats we bought because of what I learned from watching him and Dad working. It came on a cheap piece of particle board, and I'm sorry, but that just wouldn't do. Not when you come from a crafty family like mine. I went out and bought wood planking, 2x4s for the framing, nails, stain and a jigsaw. A day later, I had a deck for my seats.
I have a photo of Nana and Pappy sitting in the seats. Pappy was quite impressed if I do say so myself. I hope to learn more and build more over the years.
There will always be a void at any family gathering we have now because he was such a presence, with his bold laugh and wonderful sense of humor. He was always trying to tickle us and would jokingly try to step on our feet. I miss him already and my heart will always ache for his usual greeting of, "Well hello Sa-hara!" I miss you Pappy. I love you and I always will.