Mike and I finally buttoned up the smithy roof today after much too long of a delay. “Delay” seems to be a buzzword these days. These beefy cedar shingles (7/8" thick at the butt end) should last a good long while. This crosses one big item off the endless to-do list around here. There’s a lot we have to get buttoned up leading into the house restoration, and this was one of the bigger items weighing on our minds.
Finally getting a proper roof brings us back to two years ago, when Carpenters Without Borders was here hewing, joining, and laughing together. That project was one of the most intense and enriching experiences of our lives. We now consider ourselves stewards of this building, as it embodies the camaraderie and craftsmanship of a group of people brought together from around the world.
I’m convinced that we need more of that kind of coming together these days.
Also this morning, our second term of the Apprenticeship Program launched. Our new students have now taken a dive into sharpening, and the forums are active with questions about wooden plane restoration. (Is this a theme around here or what?) If the last term was any indication, the next eight weeks will be a blast and a ton of work. There are a good number of folks looking to take on the Journeyman challenge in which they must build five items of furniture (or a spoon) in addition to all their regular homework during the eight-week term. We had a surprising percentage complete the challenge last time and so I have high hopes that many of our new students will be able to push themselves to the finish line.
This program is not easy. And that’s the point. There’s too much wishing that goes on these days. Too much waiting until the schedule clears, or the kids are out of school, or retirement. But today offers all of us opportunities.
My today gave me the chance to nail up the last few shingles, remove staging, make a sword with my seven-year-old birthday boy, and fix a window. It’s not much, but it’s what I’ve been given.
I’ll take it.