I wish I knew how to….

Build things. I have no carpentry skills whatsoever. I wish I knew how to build and/or install cabinets, create beautiful wood furniture, properly refinish antique store finds. Sadly, I don’t have those talents at all.

BUT, what I CAN do is document others’ talents in that area.

My father had many talents, not the least of which was caning chair seats and backs. Eons ago, when I was expecting my son, I wanted a rocking chair for the nursery. Every nursery needs one, right? We could have gone out and purchased one, but my Dad wanted to gift us with a special one.

As a piano tuner, he was invited into just about every home in our town that possessed a piano – and ‘back then’, that was most of them. On one occasion the home owner told him he was getting rid of some old furniture. One piece in particular interested my Dad – an old rocking chair that had been neglected for decades and was missing both seat and back.

One of the skills taught to students at the Halifax School for the Blind was caning. Dad was talented and patient with it, every strip of cane had to be placed perfectly, the gaps in the pattern evenly spaced.

Before David was born, Dad and Mum arrived at our apartment with ‘the chair’. It was, and still is, one of my most treasured possessions. Almost fifty years later it is still in great shape and lives quietly in the corner of my bedroom – often a repository for the day’s clothes – but treasured none-the-less. Perhaps someday David, or his children or grandchildren, will inherit and love this piece of family history.

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