Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Best Job in the World

Not too long ago my Sister Lisa commented on one of my posts saying "you have the best job in the world", that phrase pops into my head a lot lately, especially when I am doing something that does not fit the phrase in any way, shape or form.

In 1975 my Father pulled me aside and told me that while he respected my desire to pursue music as a career, if I didn't back it up with a viable trade I would end up "digging ditches".

He suggested apprenticing in the violin shop as an option.

A wise man.

Yet there are still many times when I feel I am "digging ditches" none the less.

When this 1950's sideboard came into the shop it was painted black, a spot check of the finish showed that it had also been white...

The customer was hoping for neither. 

Gratefully who ever had painted the piece had done so directly over the original transparent finish - meaning that little of the paint was actually embedded in the pores of the wood.

Even with this unforeseen blessing,  the task of stripping any painted surface is time consuming, mind numbing, and generally a chemical nightmare.

No amount of ventilation or rubber gloves can make up for the assault on your senses and skin.

Wholly immersed in the "digging of ditches" and perpetually reminding myself that this really was "the best job in the world", I plodded ahead.

Once cleaned and neutralized, the re-staining and building up of the finish was a joyful and quick task.

The final result, which seemed so far in the future the day before, was a fair reminder that despite the tasks that one would prefer to avoid...

Standing in front of the restored piece...

I can honestly say...

that there are days when the digging of ditches leads you to feel that you do have the best job in the world.

Thank you Jim
for the patience of hand
the love of beauty
and the appreciation of a job well done.