Through the eyes of an nine year old
My grandpa had a woodshop in his basement. Whenever my mom would drop my sister and me off at our grandparent’s house, I’d go straight to the basement. I was welcomed by the sound of talk radio and the hum of the fluorescent light above his work bench. He had a tall metal stool that was probably made in the 70’s and it was always parked right in front of the wood clamp.
There was a tall circular bin that grandpa would keep his scrap wood in. I would spend hours looking through it, thinking of things I’d like to build with the discarded wood. My grandpa would hand me a hammer and some old nails and tell me to have at it.
Sometimes I’d use wood glue.
The other side of the basement was storage. There were these old metal cabinets that were along the far wall, and one had a mirror in it. No matter how many times I looked in it, it always scared me, forgetting it was there. But the board games were kept in there, and that was always on my mind before the scary mirror.
There were rows and rows items in storage and my cousin and I would spend a lot of time playing hide and go seek. Now as an adult, I’m sure it wasn’t really that many rows, but when you’re nine, everything seems bigger
In the back where the washer was, there was also a laundry chute. The amount of non-laundry items we stuffed down that chute was innumerable. Typically my grandma didn’t mind, but there were times where she’d stick her head in the chute and yell up at us to stop.
I used to love to vacuum up the sawdust on the basement floor. Something about it gave me satisfaction. Using the small hose and sucking up the sawdust to make shapes and drawings.
I remember counting the stairs coming down. I remember the way the ribbed vinyl stair covers felt on my bare feet. I would even sometimes just sit on the stairs, in the shadows, just watching my grandpa work, while he talked to himself. Numbers and measurements, and where did I leave my pencil?
Table saws, jig saws, wood biscuits, glue. Thick Minnesotan accents and the smell of burning wood. Building birdhouses and painting them brown. Making gifts for mom.
All this through the eyes of a nine year old.