Hammer & Nails

Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

This weekend has been a “work” weekend for me. No, not more hours in the office (although, I have been working on a project for a client in the background the whole time as well). I was invited to help my sister and her husband finish their basement. My Dad made plans to come up for Memorial Day weekend and get it done, and I was invited to join them.

Well, let’s just say that craftsmanship and working with tools and building stuff – that’s not my number one gift. 🙂

But it is my Dad’s. Or at least right up near the top. He is doing a great job, and it’s fun to see him put stuff together from what to me is just a pile of boards.

It’s not just that I just don’t even know where to begin with all this stuff. Certainly after so many years of working on home improvement projects with my Dad, I basically know how to do stuff. (Well, when I am told exactly what to do…) 🙂 But, maybe partially because of that, I really just don’t enjoy it. I do it to help out, or because it needs to be done… but it’s not fun for me.

Well, after two days of working hard on several different projects, we were getting nearer to the end. My dad and my brother-in-law were working on a project and I decided to see if I could start another one. They had to box in the stairs (they were open) and so, it seemed that just meant cutting boards and putting them in. I confirmed that, and so got to it – with a little help from my son, Ian!

I forget if this was my choice, or recommended, but on this project, I attached these boards to the existing stairs just using a hammer and nails. Yes, manually pounding them in. And do you know what? After doing a few of them, I thought, “I’m actually enjoying this!” And I was. I didn’t really understand why, but I loved pounding the nails in and seeing the project come together.

And then I noticed how consistent that was with the way I do lots of things.

When I build my websites, I actually write the code for each page. (Usually at the consternation of my fellow web developers.) When I cook, I like to make everything I can “from scratch”. There are tools you can use to automate processes on your computer, and other technologies – I don’t trust any of them. To me it just seems like every situation is slightly different, and can’t be automated.

It seems that I like to be closer to the process. I prefer to not automate. I guess maybe I don’t like power tools, either? 🙂

Well, time to get back to work this morning. I’ll see if I can find some jobs that let me do more manually. 🙂


  1. Oh, I remember the days… that was probably the funniest roofing moment. That, or falling through a rotten board. That was funny, too.

    Even in those days, I was the one who carried shingles up and down the ladder… 😉

    Definitely better at other things. 🙂 Still glad I can help a little though. 🙂


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