Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found. – James Russell Lowell
In our truck driving job we earned a small benefit from the hundreds of nights of hotel stays. Most of the larger hotel chains have “Reward” cards. Points are earned for each nights stay at these hotels. Accumulated points are redeemed for a free night stay or can be traded in for gift cards.
We had accumulated over 300,000 points over the past two years. I put a bug in Joe’s ear before Christmas to start thinking about using the points toward gift cards for Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. He has wanted a table saw for about 10 years. There have been many reasons why NOT to get the table saw.
No garage. No shed large enough to hold one. No room in the house for one. No time off the road to even use the saw if he did finally get one. Not enough money to even buy one of the pricey items. Of course, Joe has had his eye on one of the large saws with mega bells and whistles that will do everything except fetch him a beer from the fridge. I won’t even do THAT!
Watching this creative man slip into a funk has been difficult. No amount of harping, cajoling, or gentle prodding could pry him away from his computer solitaire or other computer card games for several years. He just seemed to lose heart. Work had become his life. Truck driving had entered his heart and brain. Thoughts of doing something different seemed impossible. Recently though Joe has been making small noises about wanting to create something.
It was time for me to push harder and get him to redeem the Reward points. We would lose them by the end of 2013 anyway. That took about a week to accomplish. He didn’t want to use the points in case there was something that I wanted. He wanted to make sure we would have points left over for free hotel stays. His excuses were numerous and began to bring the harpy out in me. He finally relented. The gift cards for Lowe’s Home Improvement Center began coming in the mail.
That was back in December of 2013. Since then he has been researching a table saw. Reading the reviews of each one. Trying to figure out what to get that would serve his needs and be portable. Armed with a pocket full of gift cards we went to Lowe’s. Joe got the table saw he has desired for quite a while. His “out of pocket expense” came to $50. Not a bad price to pay for a nearly $300 power tool.
Joe chose a Porter Cable 10 inch “Jobsite Table Saw”. One that collapses for portability and is easy to move around.
Some assembly is required. Our small kitchen/dining room was transformed into the assembly room. The framework was assembled in the living room while the saw waited in the kitchen. A little bit of finesse and deft maneuvering got the framework into the dining area.
Once Joe made his way into the dining area the actual work began. Bolting the saw to the frame, fussing with adjusting the blade and other crazy business that is required before it can be used.
Once Joe had all the minute details taken care of it was time to take the saw outside. Look at that cheesy grin! He’s so proud of himself. I am too, but don’t say anything to him though.
Uhm….he couldn’t get out the door through the kitchen. He had to make a try for it through the living room.
Uhm….he still can’t get outside. The rest of his cr….stuff is in the way. Folks, I think we live in a garage or a shed.
Alright, he has made it to the door and is going out.
The next trick will be unfolding the saw out on the porch. That was hysterical. He nearly tossed himself into the outside recycling bin.
Now it is time to get busy! Get the saw set up, send me inside to get his wood. Joe is embracing the joy of creativity, or the start of it anyway.
Another bit of fussing and measuring before the first bite is taken out of the wood. Then the sweet pure sound of metal cutting through wood being sacrificed to creativity. The smell of saw dust and the plume of shredded wood being exhausted out from under the machine.
Joe is making me a Press. This will allow me to make journal covers without using my heavy cast iron dutch oven anymore to apply the necessary pressure. This is a Win-Win situation. He gets to play with his tools and I get to benefit from his play.
His playtime is a whole lot messier than mine is. I don’t care.
Joe has been freed. His thoughts are no longer on computer games to pass the time. He is thinking of things he can make now that he has the proper tool. Our hallway will become the “Library”. A long line of bookcases will gradually replace all of his cr…..stuff that really needs to live outside in the shed.
I will have to keep this in mind as I encounter the saw in our entryway for a while.
The price I have to pay for my husband to be out of his funk is so worth it. I might hurl some bad words at times trying to get the groceries into the house with the saw in the way. Seeing the spark back in my husband’s eyes and hearing the long lost lilt in his voice and the excited timber as his mind whorls….PRICELESS.
What can I say. I love that man.