At the end of December, we took a trip to the mountains in Blairsville, GA. My parents spend a portion of the year there, and we’re fortunate enough to have access to their cabin. Since they’d already migrated down to Florida for the winter, it was just us there for some time away from work and typical life obligations back home.
During that trip, the kids and I went over to my dad’s “building” that’s a few miles away from the mountain. I put that in quotes because that’s what everyone calls it. It’s a large metal shed of sorts, but it is large enough to qualify as a building. Not a barn. Not a warehouse. A building. His building. I’ve been there before, but not often enough to really take in what it has become. It has become the museum of a lifelong curation of various tools and materials. Everything (mostly) is sorted and organized into shelves, toolboxes, and containers. All labeled meticulously. When I told him I was headed there with the kids to look for an axe, he responded, “Feel free to look around. I have a few things there.”
All that brings me to how I spent two hours, plus many long moments since, experiencing the positive impact of not just thinking of the memories tied to tools, pictures, and other various artifacts but feeling them both literally and figuratively. Some of the most positive memories I have in my life go back to projects that my dad and I have done together. Holding some of the tools that were used many years ago and seeing, unlike our human form that withers with time, these items were just as they were then—a tool, waiting for the next project to perform. Some of those tools span multiple generations of craftsmen. Each one undoubtedly has countless stories to tell about the things they’ve created, destroyed, and every act in between. More than the project outputs, those tools in his building helped me tell myself the stories all over again, and they meant even more to my sense of positive internalization than I could have realized before I needed an axe.
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