Relax, he’s a professional…

My father-in-law retired in 2003 after over 40 years as an autoworker. Considering all those years spent working with his hands at the truck factory—as well as his early upbringing in a rural village in Greece, his experiences in building his first family home in Fort Wayne, Indiana and decades of being the family’s “go-to guy” for every kind of repair job imaginable—it was a tough adjustment for him to have so much time on his hands. Not one for reading books or watching television, he turned his attention to stuff around the house and in the yard, “repairing” things and “improving them”…whether they needed it or not. Over time, his abilities have slipped a little and things don’t always turn out quite the way he expects. Sometimes the results are funny; other times…well, not so much. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say this—speaking from personal experience, mind you: When someone reaches a certain age, the mere suggestion of that person using a chainsaw, a power drill or even a tire compressor should send the entire family into DEFCON 1.

My father-in-law has slowed down quite a bit in the past few months, mostly because of all the changes we’ve been through but also because it’s pretty unpleasant outside right now with the early onset of winter weather here in Ohio. Still, he finds the time and interest to tinker with all sorts of things even if the work it’s on a much smaller scale these days. Below is a recent picture of his “workbench” which also doubles as the living room coffee table. I’m not sure what exactly he was doing with all these things on this particular day (and I’m not sure he knew, either), but whatever he was doing took the better part of the day, no power tools were involved, and nobody had to go to the emergency room. So it was basically time well-spent, all things considered.

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