I can’t remember if I told you all this before, but in the 8th Grade I won the Industrial Arts Award. Yes, I deserved it. And yes, I went to a co-ed school. At my school, the boys and the girls had to take both wood shop and home economics. I was okay at the home economics stuff (much better at the cooking and baking than I was at the sewing). But I was really good at the wood shop stuff, both in theory and practical application. Plus, I really enjoyed the class. When you pulled my elephant’s trunk, that light came ON! Every time.
I guess you can say I have had a life-long admiration for quality woodworking and beautiful things created from quality wood. Maybe it comes from me being born so close to all of those Redwood trees in California. I find wood to be amazing. Wood is very pleasing to my senses. Whether rough or smooth, natural or stained, I love the feel of it. I love to touch it. I love the smell of it. I love it in all forms… raw and freshly cut, finished, or even as sawdust. The lines and the swirls in the grains of each piece of wood, as unique as snowflakes, are incredibly interesting and I love imagining the stories of how they came to be. Hard wood, soft wood, dark wood, light wood… it is all good. Wood is very, very sexy.
But even more amazing to me is someone who has the ability to manipulate wood into something more, something functional. A person who can take a piece of wood and build something beautiful and strong is a true artist in my mind.
That is one of the reasons why I love everything about the show “This Old House.” I started watching Norm Abram on “The New Yankee Workshop” back when Sheepdog and I first got married. I was in awe of what he could do with pieces of wood in that magical barn. “This Old House” was a companion show for me… it took it up a notch by delving in to building and renovating entire homes, but it also strayed from the actual woodworking and furniture making components that got me hooked in the first place. Together, these shows and the people on them (Kevin O’Connor, Norm Abram, Rich Trethewey, Tom Silva, and Roger Cook), have helped foster and intensify my love of all things wood.
I have been playing my favorite game of “Million Dollar Listing” again by perusing the local real estate market. During my birthday week I went with my dad to see an 8.5 acre property that was on the market for $1.875 million, after having been dropped down from $2.3 million (that made it a really good deal in my mind). It was spectacular for so many reasons… the privacy, the wooded land, the gunite-salt water-infinity pool out back, the gorgeously refinished kitchen and bathrooms, but mainly because of all of the wood inside of the house. There is no drywall in this home. All of the walls are made of wood. It felt like a mountain cabin in Colorado. It seriously took my breath away and made me all tingly.
So now you will totally understand just how freaking excited I was when I found out recently that one of my fun college peeps actually knows Kevin O’Connor, the host of “This Old House.” They went to high school together and are still good friends. When I told him how cool I thought that was, he was like, “Seriously, you actually watch PBS? He’s no Ty Pennington.”
Last week a package arrived for me in the mail. When I opened it, I could not contain myself. I was giggling and laughing and smiling and could not wait to put on my new t-shirt and read my very own signed copy of The Best Homes from “This Old House.” I was ecstatic. I was over the moon. I was so excited.
I got wood.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…