Monday, August 23, 2010

grandpa: a love affair with lumber

Grandpa made his living in lumber. He sold it for a living, and worked on it as a hobby. Back before I was born, he was using the saw in the basement one weekend and accidentally ran the blades over the tips of his fingers.

There was blood, lots of it, initially. So I've heard. And after healing, a few of the digits on his left hand were reduced just dots of nails on blunted tips.

Now 85, grandpa has been having dreams of death.

A few nights ago, he was being placed in his coffin. An argument with the undertaker ensued. He was laid back, dead, but fussing over which hand should be folded over which. The good hand, pure and unscathed? Or the one that had the run-in with the saw so many years ago?

If there's any doubt, I told him that the left one, the saw veteran, should be on top. But instead of having it propped nicely, they should wrench all of the fingers out of sight except the middle one. Which is the one that coincidentally took the brunt of the blade.

Go out in style, I said. Stick that bastard up proud. Your last gesture to the world you've loved so.

Grandpa got a real kick out of that.

(Photo above from grandpa's workbench in the garage. Note the handmade wooden USA, with the complete set of state quarters. Real attention to comprehensive detail.)

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