Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Making Something Beautiful with Your Hands

by H. Jackson Browne Jr.
In my travels, I picked up a little book titled Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Browne Jr.  There are 511 one-sentence observations in that little book.  The author wrote it as a gift to his son as he was leaving for college, providing sort of a parental road map.  Observation  # 71 in his little book caught my eye. Learn to make something beautiful with your hands.  I immediately thought of my husband.

My husband is a craftsman who makes beautiful wooden screen doors with his hands. He built a wooden one for us with a lattice bottom after our first child was born.  That was the beginning of a wooden screen door business.

After a newspaper ran an article about his business, a woman requesting a brochure wrote a note expressing how nice it was to read about a person using his hands to make a living. That has stuck with me all these years.

Carolie Screen Door
I went with him recently to the city. We happened to turn on a street that just happened to have one of his doors on their entry.  My husband stopped, on a whim, to inquire the year it was manufactured.  1986.  That door was 24 years old!  The householder was the one who had purchased it, and had enjoyed coming in and out of that door for 24 years!  My husband beamed with delight!

Which brings me back to observation #71 – Learn to make something beautiful with your hands.  Being a vendor at a farmer’s market gives me an opportunity to see people who, on a regular basis, use their hands to create beautiful things. It is rewarding indeed.  Perhaps that is why I enjoy the Farmer’s Market so.  There are many craftsmen, artists and farmers working with their hands, and many making a living doing so! 

Check out your local Farmer’s markets to see what I’m talking about.  To see beautiful wooden screen doors check out

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