Over the past couple of years, and especially the past eleven months since we moved here, you have read a lot about things that Papa made. Papa, my stepfather, was a maker in every sense of the word. If he needed something, or Madre asked for something, he made it, whether it be a cutting board, shelves for her canning, or a tall kitchen cabinet to fit her 6’2″ stature.
Papa loved knives, so he started making them. He did that for several years, with one of his creations winding up on the cover of Knives ’86, a yearly publication that people in the knife world strive to be recognized by. Next he decided he liked wood sculptures. Yep, he made some of those, too. He then moved on to guns, especially replicas of old Winchesters and Tennessee Mountain Rifles. He made a beautiful match-lock rifle, hand-carving the intricate detail work on the stock.
When he passed away he had become known as a talented and respected gunsmith, and actually still had projects on the table of his workshop. I’ll have to create a “Papa gallery” here on the blog sometime soon, and show off his amazing talents.
It’s hard to let go of anything Papa made. Of course, what we have left of his artwork is sacred to us, but even little things are of so much value to me and my family, and we don’t like getting rid of anything that came from his hands. Unfortunately, we have hit an obstacle, and know we have to make a sacrifice, even though it’s hard to do.
I do mean he built it in the hallway, on sight, and you can tell there is no getting it out. Madre needed somewhere to set up her old Emdeko sewing machine (yep, mine now!), somewhere to store towels and sheets, and somewhere to keep boxes. So, Papa built her a cabinet. A huge, wonderful cabinet which serves each and every purpose, along with a place to hang coats. The closet section hides the opening under the stairs where the water heater resides.
It’s a pretty phenomenal cabinet, but we have to let it go. As I mentioned last week, Coach is going to do some major floor repairs in the hallway, and it will be nearly impossible to do if he has to lug that monstrosity back and forth across the space. We actually did that a few times when we were taking up the carpet in there, and the cabinet did not fare too well. It is held together with Gorilla Glue and clamps, thanks to that episode. As bad as we hate to, we are going to disassemble the old cabinet/desk/closet, and remove it. Coach just has to figure out how to do it…it looks daunting.
For all of you sentimentalists out there (like me), don’t worry…we have plenty of Papa’s handiwork that is not going anywhere. I’ll leave you with some rather dark shots of my kitchen cabinets, fashioned out of old barn wood, built by Papa. I love these cabinets, and the charm they add to this old country home. These barn wood cabinets are perfect for a farmhouse!
I’ll be updating you soon on lots of things: the upstairs carpet reveal, the removal of the huge hallway cabinet, and the hallway floor-leveling party that Coach is planning to have this coming weekend. Thankfully, I’ll be away at a craft fair most of the weekend, so I won’t have to worry and stress and cry over things coming down, or things going wrong. I don’t do very well with deconstruction or construction…I’m thankful Coach has his dad and A.R. for these kinds of projects!